SKorea, Japan say no aid until NKorea disarms
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) - The leaders of South Korea and Japan took a united front Friday in saying North Korea should not be offered aid until the communist regime takes concrete steps to dismantle its nuclear weapons program.
Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama said he agreed with South Korean President Lee Myung-bak’s view on withholding aid to Pyongyang "as long as North Korea does not take specific actions" over its nuclear and missile programs.
The two leaders held a summit Friday in Seoul before they are to head to Beijing for a three-way summit with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao.
Lee’s proposal to offer a one-time "grand bargain" of aid and concessions in exchange for denuclearization - rather than the step-by-step process pursued over the past six years - is "completely correct," Hatoyama said.
Their comments reflects the skepticism Seoul and Tokyo share about North Korea, both countries’ neighbor, which has been accused of raising tensions and then agreeing to dialogue and disarmament, only to backtrack after reaping the economic and political benefits of its promises.