August 16, 2006

Bush, Korea’s Roh to discuss N. Korea

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President George W. Bush and South
Korean President Roh Moo-hyun will meet on September 14 to
discuss bringing North Korea back to the negotiating table on
its nuclear program and trade, White House spokesman Tony Snow
said on Wednesday.

The United States has been urging North Korea to return to
six-party talks on its nuclear weapons ambitions. The talks,
which involve China, Russia, Japan, the United States, South
Korea and North Korea, have been stalled since November.

South Korean Foreign Minister Ban Ki-moon on Monday urged
patience rather than risk a negative response from Pyongyang.
He said one of the major sticking points was the U.S. crackdown
on firms it suspects of helping North Korea in illicit
activities such as counterfeiting.

"The alliance between the United States and the Republic of
Korea is deeply rooted in common values and common interests,"
Snow said. "Together the two countries have stood against
common threats and worked for the promotion of democracy, free
markets and universal human rights."

The two leaders will also discuss free trade agreement
negotiations, fighting terrorism, stopping the proliferation of
weapons of mass destruction and "promoting an open
international economic order," Snow said.