WASHINGTON – President Bush and South Korean President Roh Moo Hyun sought Friday to de-emphasize deepening divisions between them, declaring themselves fully united in their goals for the Korean peninsula.
Before a White House meeting, Bush asserted that the two governments “share the same goals” and that “the alliance is very strong.” Roh said that the two are “in full and perfect agreement.”
Yet although the two again called for a resumption of the six-nation talks on North Korea’s nuclear weapons program, in a brief appearance before reporters they offered no evidence that they had overcome their growing differences on how to deal with Pyongyang, the capital of North Korea.
They avoided any mention of seeking United Nations Security Council sanctions on Pyongyang, a course advocated by some in the Bush administration and opposed by Seoul.
And Bush made clear that the United States was not about to offer more incentives to the North Koreans to cooperate, as the Roh government wants it to do.