Kim Jong Il Greets Roh Moo Hyun

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Pyongyang, October 2 (KCNA) -- General Secretary Kim Jong Il on Tuesday greeted south Korean President Roh Moo Hyun on a visit to Pyongyang. The streets of the capital city were wrapped in a festive mood. The meeting of the top leaders of the north and the south will mark an event of weighty significance in boosting the inter-Korean relations to a new higher stage on the basis of the historic June 15 North-South Joint Declaration and in the spirit of "By our nation itself" and opening up a new phase for achieving peace on the Korean Peninsula, prosperity common to the nation and national reunification. Pyongyangites from all walks of life lined up at the plaza in front of the April 25 House of Culture where flags of the DPRK were seen fluttering. When Kim Jong Il appeared at the plaza, the crowd broke into thunderous cheers of "Hurrah!" rocking the earth and sky. Present there were Kim Yong Il, premier of the Cabinet, Kim Il Chol, minister of the People's Armed Forces, Choe Thae Bok, chairman of the Supreme People's Assembly, Yang Hyong Sop, vice-president of the SPA Presidium, Kim Ki Nam, secretary of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea, Kang Sok Ju, first vice-minister of Foreign Affairs, Kim Yong Dae, chairman of the Central Committee of the Korean Social Democratic Party, and leading officials of the party, armed forces and power organs, working people's organizations, ministries and national institutions. At noon, a limousine carrying Kim Yong Nam, president of the SPA Presidium, and President Roh Moo Hyun arrived at the plaza after passing through tens of ri-long route amid the welcome of the crowd. Amidst the playing of the welcome music, the crowd welcomed Roh Moo Hyun, waving bouquets. Kim Jong Il exchanged a handshake and greetings with Roh Moo Hyun. Roh Moo Hyun is accompanied by Minister of Finance and Economy Kwon O Gyu, Minister of Science and Technology Kim U Sik, Minister of Unification Ri Jae Jong, Minister of National Defence Kim Jang Su, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Im Sang Gyu, Minister of Health and Welfare Pyon Jae Jin, Director of the National Intelligence Service Kim Man Bok and other suite members and reporters. A function took place at the plaza in welcome of Roh Moo Hyun. Kim Jong Il and Roh Moo Hyun reviewed the guard of honor of the three services of the Korean People's Army. Women workers presented bouquets to Roh Moo Hyun and his wife. Kim Jong Il and Roh Moo Hyun waved back to the enthusiastically welcoming crowd, passing before them.