South Korean President Urges Mutual Trust With North

Posted August 14th, 2011 at 11:35 pm (UTC-5)
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South Korean President Lee Myung-bak is calling for North and South Korea to build mutual trust in order to open up an age of peace and cooperation on the divided peninsula.

Mr. Lee made the remark during a Liberation Day speech Monday as South Koreans celebrate the 66th anniversary of independence from Japanese colonial rule.

Officials from the U.S. and North and South Korea have begun tentative talks meant to restart long-stalled nuclear disarmament talks.

But tensions remain high. Last week the two Koreas exchanged artillery fire along their disputed maritime dividing line.

The Yonhap news agency says U.S. President Barack Obama has sent a congratulatory telegram of the anniversary to Mr. Lee.

The two Koreas, divided shortly after the 1945 liberation from 35 years of Japanese rule, engaged in a three-year war beginning in 1950. They are still technically at war, with no peace treaty signed at the end of hostilities in 1953.

South Korean news media also report that President Lee will leave for a three-nation Asian tour next week that will take him to Mongolia, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan.

The presidential office was quoted as saying that Mr. Lee will meet with top officials of the three nations for talks on cooperation in energy, resources and health.