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Roh says his North Korea policy focused on prevention of war 
President Roh Moo-hyun said Tuesday (Jan. 23) that the top
priority in his security policy is to prevent a
war on the Korean Peninsula by continuing
to engage North Korea.
In his special New Year address broadcast live across
the nation, the president said he will not give up
pursuing a summit with North Korean leader Kim
Jong-il as part of the policy of engagement with
the North.
Roh said his administration
will break from the traditional diplomatic
framework of inter-Korean relations and the South
Korea-U.S. alliance to pursue a so-called
"balanced diplomacy," with the changing
Sino-Japanese relations and the Northeast Asian
order in mind.
He then reiterated that his
government will gradually change the character of
South Korea's relationship with the
U.S. from one-sided dependence to interdependence.
"The focus of my government's
North Korea policy will be on peace
and security on the Korean Peninsula as
well as the prevention of a war. Unification will
come next," the president said in the hour-long
"The key to the peace strategy is
the wisdom of co-existence. We should boldly and
confidently engage North Korea.
Confrontation would achieve nothing," Roh said,
stressing the continued confidence-building
measures between the two Koreas.

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