N Korean leader Kim Jong Il to visit South at "appropriate time"

Sunday, July 4th 2004, 10:51 am
By: News On 6

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) _ North Korean leader Kim Jong Il has told a top Chinese leader he intends to visit South Korea at an ``appropriate time,'' a former South Korean presidential aide was quoted as saying Sunday in news report.

The North Korean leader had agreed to visit the South after hosting former South Korean President Kim Dae-jung in Pyongyang for a historic inter-Korean summit in 2000.

But the trip has yet to happen. Since the summit, there has been the election of President Bush, the election of a new South Korean president, Roh Moo-hyun, and the eruption of an international standoff over North Korea's nuclear weapons programs.

Kim Han-jung, an aide to former South Korean President Kim Dae-jung, said a top Chinese official was told that Kim Jong Il intends to follow through on the trip and also meet former President Kim during the stay, South Korea's Yonhap news agency reported.

Kim Han-jung accompanied Kim Dae-jung on a five-day trip to China last week.

The presidential aide said he heard about a reciprocal North Korean visit ``from a Chinese official who Kim met in person when he visited China (in April),'' Yonhap said.

The aide declined to identify the Chinese official, only describing him as a ``very trustworthy high-profile figure,'' according to Yonhap.