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Carter, ex-leaders to visit DPRK

[ 2011-04-12 10:54]     字号 [] [] []  
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Three former world leaders will accompany ex-US president Jimmy Carter to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) this month to discuss tensions on the peninsula and food shortages in the state, a report said on Monday.

JoongAng Daily, quoting diplomatic sources in the Republic of Korea (ROK), said Carter would be accompanied by former Finnish president Martti Ahtisaari, former Irish president Mary Robinson and former Norwegian prime minister Gro Harlem Brundtland.

Seoul's Foreign Ministry said nothing had been confirmed about such a visit.

Widespread media reports say Carter will pay a three-day trip to Pyongyang starting on April 26.

Carter, president from 1977 to 1981, visited the DPRK in 1994 after Washington came close to war with Pyongyang over its nuclear weapons program.

In talks with then-leader Kim Il-sung, he helped negotiate a deal under which the DPRK shut down its reactor in return for energy aid.

Last August Carter visited Pyongyang to secure the release of jailed US citizen Aijalon Mahli Gomes.

The US-DPRK "Agreed Framework" agreement broke down in 2002, and a subsequent six-nation deal reached in 2005 has also been stalled.

Carter was quoted last week as saying he would try to revive the Six-Party Talks and address humanitarian issues.

United Nations food agencies who recently visited the DPRK say more than 6 million people - a quarter of the population - urgently need food aid.

Tension has been high on the peninsula since the sinking of a ROK warship in March 2010. Last November the DPRK shelled a ROK island and killed four people.

That same month, the DPRK also disclosed an apparently functional uranium enrichment plant, giving it a potential second way to make atomic bombs even though it says the uranium program is peaceful.

ROK's nuclear envoy Wi Sung-lac will visit the United States from Tuesday to

Thursday to discuss the enrichment program and ways to revive the Six-Party Talks, a Seoul Foreign Ministry spokesman said.

Wi will meet his US counterpart Sung Kim as well as US special envoy for the DPRK Stephen Bosworth.

The possible resumption of food aid to the DPRK will be on the agenda as well, Yonhap news agency said.


1. Ex-leaders from what other countries will join Carter in his visit?

2. What is the purpose of their visit?

3. When did Carter first visit DPRK?


1. Finland, Norway, Ireland.

2. Encourge six-party talks.

3. 1994.


(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Carter, ex-leaders to visit DPRK

Carter, ex-leaders to visit DPRK

Todd Balazovic is a reporter for the Metro Section of China Daily. Born in Mineapolis Minnesota in the US, he graduated from Central Michigan University and has worked for the China Daily for one year.