Vienna, 5 October 2007 Press release

Plassnik: "Trend reversal in Korea?"


Foreign Minister on inter-Korean summit and six-party talks

Vienna, 5 October 2007 - "There are no illusions: a reunified Korea is still a long way off. The last open chapter of the Cold War is far from being closed. Nevertheless, the meeting between the two Korean presidents is a significant signal. For the first time in decades a trend reversal seems to be in the making. After a seemingly endless spiral of negative messages - only a year ago a nuclear bomb was tested by the North Korean dictator - comes a picture of hope: a handshake beyond the boundaries of different political systems and historical time zones," stated Foreign Minister Ursula Plassnik following the conclusion of the Korea Summit and the latest success in the six-party talks on the North Korean nuclear programme.

"This sharpens our sense of what is possible. It shows that the strength of persistence and dialogue are not just empty phrases. Moreover, new and exciting lines of connection are becoming visible, such as those between Washington and Beijing," continued the Foreign Minister.

"My hopes are pinned on the envisaged direct contacts between the people on both sides of the last "hot" border of the Cold War. What worked for us Europeans almost 20 years ago can and must work for the Koreans as well: removing the Iron Curtain and embarking on a new common course into the future," stated Plassnik. "Many steps remain to be taken before this is achieved. The goal of the world community is and remains a Korean peninsula free from nuclear weapons - united in freedom," concluded the Foreign Minister.

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