South Korea to keep 'sunshine' policy despite clash with North

Tuesday, July 2, 2002

SEOUL, South Korea -- Despite a skirmish that killed at least four South Korean sailors, President Kim Dae-jung said Monday he would push ahead with his "sunshine" policy of trying to seek reconciliation with North Korea.

"We will maintain the sunshine policy of firm security and peaceful resolution efforts," Kim's office quoted the president as saying in a speech at a state dinner in Tokyo hosted by Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi. The South Korean military, meanwhile, planned to change its rules of engagement to enable swifter response to any North Korean hostilities. Opposition lawmakers have criticized the sunshine policy as too lenient.

South Korean Defense Minister Kim Dong-shin and Gen. Leon LaPorte, who commands the 37,000 U.S. troops stationed in South Korea, met Monday and agreed to discuss possible changes to the rules.

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