August 19, 2009 08:30
Former U.S. President Bill Clinton met President Barack Obama at the White House on Tuesday to brief him about his visit to North Korea early this month and apparently passed on a message from North Korean leader Kim Jong-il.
Clinton had already been debriefed by U.S. National Security Adviser James Jones immediately after the visit. Clinton's meeting with Obama came after North Korea made conciliatory gestures toward South Korea by signing a five-point accord in a meeting with Hyundai chairwoman Hyun Jeong-eun.
While welcoming the move, which amounts to an opening of the inter-Korean border, the U.S. State Department on Monday urged Pyongyang to take steps toward complete denuclearization. "Clearly these are welcome steps, in and of themselves," State Department spokesman Philip Crowley said, adding that such gestures "might open the door for renewed dialogue" between Pyongyang and Seoul. "One might infer that North Korea is feeling some pressure, whether it's political pressure, economic pressure or a combination of the two," he added, and stressed the importance of implementing sanctions under UN Security Council Resolution 1874.
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