January 17, 2005 ㅡ MOSCOW
― Russia has invited President Roh Moo-hyun of South Korea and North Korean leader Kim Jong-il to Moscow to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II. A Russian government official raised a possibility that the two Korean leaders could meet at the event.
Russia's Foreign Ministry has invited Mr. Roh and Mr. Kim for the celebration, which is scheduled to take place on May 9, the official said. Russia has also invited dozens of leaders from around the world, including President George W. Bush of the United States, Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder of Germany and President Hu Jintao of China.
According to the Russian official, Seoul and Pyeongyang have not yet officially replied to Moscow's invitations. "But we anticipate that both leaders will attend," the Russian official said. "We are not preparing an inter-Korean summit separately, though."
He said it would be meaningful for the Korean leaders to meet, where old enemies are meeting for reconciliation and peace.
In his New Year's press conference on Jan. 13, President Roh said he was ready for an inter-Korean summit, anytime, anywhere and on any subject. Diplomatic sources in Moscow and Seoul have said an inter-Korean summit, arranged by Russia, had been discussed when Mr. Roh met with President Vladimir Putin of Russia in September.