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Toast by Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright At Dinner Hosted by Chairman Kim Jong Il

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE Office of the Spokesman (Pyongyang,
Democratic People's Republic of Korea)
For Immediate Release October 23, 2000 As Delivered
Toast by Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright At Dinner
Hosted by Chairman Kim Jong Il Pyongyang, Democratic People's
Republic of Korea
October 23, 2000
SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: Chairman Kim Jong Il, Vice Marshal Jo,
distinguished leaders of the Democratic People's Republic of
Korea on behalf of the United States of America, I want to thank
you for your kindness and hospitality.
Vice Marshal Jo, we really enjoyed your visit earlier this month
to Washington and now you have made us feel very welcome, and we
appreciate it very much.
The exchange of letters and greetings between Chairman Kim Jong
Il and President Clinton, the exchange of visits by senior
officials from our respective lands, and our recent joint
communique could not have been imagined only a few years ago.  We
do not move as rapidly as the performers in tonight's wonderful
performance, but step by step we are moving toward a fundamental
improvement in our relationship. This will benefit all the people
of Korea and of the United States.  I believe that our meetings
during these two days will help us to move further down the road
of cooperation.  Mr. Chairman, the process in which we are now
engaged is a process that your father President Kim Il-sung
helped to begin.  It can lead to reconciliation and reunification
of the Peninsula and to more normal and prosperous relations
between your government and others in the region and the world.
This process will succeed if we all profit from the lessons of
the past and understand that confrontation is not the path to
progress in this new era.  We each must meet our responsibilities
to eliminate threats, reduce tension, build confidence, and
expand ties.  We each must strive to open new avenues of
communication, commerce and contacts.  We must each do our part
if the Cold War is truly to end and along with it the divisions
that have caused such suffering to the people of Korea.
There is a great distance between our two lands, but as we are
starting to discover through our visits, distance is no barrier
to closer ties. The United States understands that differences
developed over many decades are real and cannot be eliminated
overnight.  We must be pragmatic and recognize that the road to
fully normal relations remains uphill.
But America's symbol is the eagle, a bird that soars. And Korea's
pride is its  mountains, which scrape the sky.  There is no
obstacle we cannot overcome if we make the strategic decision to
do so together.
Mr. Chairman, Mr. Vice Marshal, and our other distinguished
hosts, on behalf of my delegation, I want to thank you again for
your hospitality.
I look forward to tomorrow's meetings and events.  And I invite
you to join me in a toast to the health of the people of the
Democratic People's Republic of Korea, and to the growth of
friendship between you and the people of the United States. (# #

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