Sunday, February 15, 2009

Possible olive branch to US by North Korea?

North Korea is ready to improve relations with “friendly” countries, the communist country’s No 2 leader said on Sunday ahead of a visit by US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton to Asia.

“We will develop relations with countries that are friendly toward us,” Kim told a national meeting held as part of celebrations on the eve of the 67th birthday of leader Kim Jong Il, according to the North’s official Korean Central News Agency.

The remark by Kim Yong Nam, North Korea’s ceremonial head of state, could be an olive branch to Washington before Clinton’s trip – even though it came amid reports the North is gearing up to test-fire a long-range missile in an apparent attempt to grab President Barack Obama’s attention.

Clinton departed on Sunday on a trip to Japan, Indonesia, South Korea and China.


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