And let me explain why I made the comments that I did. I love freedom. I understand the importance of freedom in people's lives. I am troubled by a regime that tolerates starvation. I worry about a regime that is closed and not transparent. I am deeply concerned about the people of North Korea. And I believe that it is important for those of us who love freedom to stand strong for freedom and make it clear the benefits of freedom. And that's exactly why I said what I said about the North Korean regime.
I know what can happen when people are free. I see it right here in South Korea. And I'm passionate on the subject. And I believe so strongly in the rights of the individual that I, Mr. President, will continue to speak out.
Having said that, of course, as you and I discussed, we're more than willing to speak out publicly and speak out in private with the North Korean leadership. And again, I wonder why they haven't taken up our offer.
This is going to be a great visit for us, Mr. President. It's going to be a great visit because it's a chance for me to say clearly to the South Korean people, "We value our friendship. We appreciate your country. We share the same values. And we'll work together to make sure that our relationship improves even better as we go into the 21st century."
Mr. President, thank you, sir.
QUESTION (through translator): First, I have a question for President Kim. There is a difference between the axis of evil and the Sunshine Policy. Do you feel that the gap was overcome during this summit? And right now the Korean people are concerned about how inter-Korean relations will develop following the summit. How do you perceive the inter-Korean relations to develop in the future?
KIM (through translator): In my view, I believe that the U.S. policy and the Korean policy are fundamentally similar and there are no major differences.
We both believe in democracy and market economy.
Furthermore, we are allies. Korea and the U.S. are strong allies. And I believe that this is important and vital for the national interests of both of our countries. And so that's our top priority.
Furthermore, in matters related to North Korea regarding the WMD or missiles or nuclear issues, our views have coincided. And during the summit meeting this morning, I believe that there was no difference in opinion between our two leaders. And we believe that it is through dialogue that we will be able to resolve this issue. And we agreed on this point.
Therefore, recently in the press, there were some indication that there might be some difference of opinion. But during the conversation that I had this morning with President Bush, we were able to reconfirm that there is no difference of opinion between Kore and the U.S.
And in the future, regarding U.S.-Korean issues, we were able to reaffirm that we have made the proposal to North Korea to dialogue. And it is through dialogue that we hope to resolve all of the issues. And so we hope that North Korea will, at an early date, accept our proposal and that inter-Korean dialogue and dialogue between North Korea and the U.S. will resume.
On September 15, there was the fifth inter-Korean inter-ministerial meeting and several issues were decided.
There were 10 agreements made regarding the meeting of separated families and the re-linking of the Kyongi (ph) railroad line, and we are implementing these agreements. Thank you.
QUESTION: Mr. President, some South Koreans, perhaps even President Kim, had some concerns about your comments about the "axis of evil" and North Korea. How do you think your approach fits with and helps the Sunshine Policy?
And if I may, President Kim, did you have any misgivings, sir, about the president including North Korea in the "axis of evil?" And secondly, why do you think that North Korea is genuine about opening up? We have heard here about their failure to participate in the reunification of families, they haven't built their end of the rail line, and they refuse to talk to the U.S. What makes you think they're sincere in wanting to open up?
BUSH: You know, during our discussion President Kim reminded me a little bit about American history when he said that President Reagan referred to Russia as the evil empire, and yet was then able to have constructive dialogue with Mr. Gorbachev.
I will not change my opinion on Kim Jong Il until he frees his people and accepts genuine proposals from countries such as South Korea or the United States to dialogue; until he proves to the world that he's got a good heart, that he cares about the people that live in his country.
I am concerned about a country that is not transparent, that allows for starvation, that develops weapons of mass destruction. I care very deeply about it because it is in the neighborhood of one of our very close friends.
I don't see and so therefore, I think the burden of proof is on the North Korean leader to prove that he does truly care about people, and that he is not going to threaten our neighbor.
We're peaceful people. We have no intention of invading North Korea. South Korea has no intention of attacking North Korea, nor does America.
We're purely defensive. And the reason we have to be defensive is because there is a threatening position on the DMZ. But we long for peace. It is in our nations' interests that we achieve peace on the peninsula.
I also want to remind the world that our nation provides more food to the North Korean people than any nation in the world.
Nearly we are averaging nearly 300,000 tons of food a year. And so, obviously, my comments about evil was toward a regime, toward a government, not toward the North Korean people.