By DEB RIECHMANN, Associated Press Writer 14 minutes ago
SYDNEY, Australia –‘s talks with ended on a sour note Friday not over the war in Iraq, but rather the Korean conflict that ended more than five decades ago.
As Bush began to wind down his stay at the Asia-Pacific summit, Roh challenged Bush to make a declaration to end the. That conflict ended in a truce in 1953, not a peace treaty, so the two sides technically remain at war.
The snag was the first in a series of sit-downs Bush is having here with leaders from Pacific rim nations. He also spoke Friday withand will meet on Saturday with the leaders of , and . Protesters plan a march through the city on Saturday, a day after scuffles broke out between riot police and some demonstrators.
Bush’s talks with Roh focused on the six-nation talks to getto give up its weapons. Soon after the mini diplomatic incident, Christopher Hill, the U.S. envoy handling the negotiations, announced that nuclear experts from the U.S., and will travel to North Korea next week to survey nuclear facilities to be shut down.
Bush said that during his talks with Roh, he reaffirmed the U.S. position that when North Korean leaderdismantles his nuclear program, the United States would formally end the Korean War.
Whatever Roh heard Bush say through his translator, it wasn’t good enough.
“I think I did not hear President Bush mention the — a declaration to end the Korean War just now,” Roh said as cameras clicked and television cameras rolled.
Bush said he thought he was being clear, but obliged Roh and restated the U.S. position.
That wasn’t good enough either. “If you could be a little bit clearer in your message,” Roh said.
Bush, now looking irritated….