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Fact Sheet

Where S. Korea's new president stands

Roh has pledged to work closely with Washington
Roh has pledged to work closely with Washington

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SEOUL, South Korea (Reuters) -- South Korea's President-elect Roh Moo-hyun will take office on Tuesday, succeeding President Kim Dae-jung, who will step down after completing his five-year term.

The following are policies presented by Roh during his campaign and in the transition period since the December 19 presidential election:

North Korea's nuclear arms

• Says North Korea should be persuaded to abandon its nuclear weapons programme through dialogue and has vowed to continue Kim's "sunshine policy" of aid and engagement with the North.

• Rules out the use of force in settling the four-month-old nuclear dispute, saying Seoul wants neither war nor the collapse of the North's communist government.

• Says cutting off aid or applying economic sanctions and diplomatic pressure, as advocated by the United States, could precipitate a conflict on the Korean peninsula.

South Korea-U.S. relations

• Says the 50-year-old alliance should be modernised to put Seoul on a more equal footing with Washington, reflecting South Korea's economic and political development.

• Has pledged to work closely with Washington to resolve a crisis over the North's nuclear ambitions, but seeks more balance in ties and a more prominent role for Seoul in dealing with security issues posed by Pyongyang.

• Says the United States remains a key ally whose military presence contributes to the security of South Korea and its neighbours.

• Plans to give Washington suggested amendments to the Status of Forces Agreement, a military pact that governs the status of the 37,000 U.S. troops in South Korea.

Economy

• Plans to maintain the outgoing government's growth-oriented economic policies.

• Has vowed to be tough on the family-run conglomerates dominating Asia's fourth-largest economy.

• Says South Korea's conglomerates need further reform and curbs on financial activities to reduce their dominance of the economy and check government-business collusion.

• Says will implement a five-day working week and improve benefits for the working class, including foreign guest workers.

• Vows to try to hold back rises in consumer and property prices.

Corruption and political reform

• Has distanced himself from scandals that hit President Kim's family and aides. Promises to disclose his assets and those of his family.

Relocating capital from Seoul

• Vows to relocate South Korea's political and administrative centre to Taejon in the centre of the country to relieve congestion and curb skyrocketing housing prices in the capital and stimulate regional economic growth and political autonomy.



Copyright 2003 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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