Bush Testy Over Korean War





In a testy public exchange Friday with South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun, President Bush said the United States would formally end the Korean War only when North Korea halts its nuclear weapons program.

The two leaders met on the sidelines of a 21-nation Pacific Rim summit here, spending much of their roughly one-hour session discussing the international standoff over the communist North's pursuit of atomic arms.
They agreed there had been progress. But then they had a before-the-cameras back-and-forth that was remarkable in the diplomatic world of understatement and subtlety.

Roh pushed Bush to be "clearer" about his position on an official end to the 1950-53 Korean War. The two Koreas were divided by the conflict, which ended in a truce, not a peace treaty, meaning they still remain technically at war.
The leaders' tone remained light, but Bush responded firmly: "I can't make it any more clear, Mr. President. We look forward to the day when we can end the Korean War. That will happen when Kim Jong Il verifiably gets rid of his weapons programs and his weapons."


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