P. S. Suryanarayana

"Sunshine policy" not effective, says South Korean Premier

SINGAPORE: South Korea and Japan on Monday agreed to stay "fully in step with each other" in addressing the concerns of the international community over N. Korea.

This was indicated by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe after his summit with South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun in Seoul. Mr. Roh said that the two had "no differences" over the issue.

The two indicated their intentions to chart out policies that could have far-reaching implications for East Asia and beyond.

Mr. Roh said South Korea's "sunshine policy" of engaging the DPRK, initiated in 2000, had "not been effective" in preventing Pyongyang from taking the nuclear path. He said the ties could no longer be the same now.

Mr. Abe said Japan would "step up cooperation with the United States in missile defence and other [security-related] areas." It would take "stern measures" against the DPRK. On contentious bilateral issues, Mr. Roh urged Japan to address its imperial-era history which "continues to live" in East Asia to this day.

Regional diplomats said the moves on "sunshine policy" and the Japan-U.S. military alliance might reshape ties among the countries in East Asia.

Mr. Abe noted that the North Korean action would "not hamper" Japan's relationship with China and South Korea.