Minister of Unification Ha-joong Kim of Korea, South

Unification Minister Kim says the South reprised the Roh administration corn offer, three weeks ago, via the Red Cross.
former nonproliferation adviser to President Bill Clinton.
President Roh kept writing things down, wearing a pensive look, while Kim was talking.
Kim said it was hard to take on board all the inter-Korean agreements reached by Kim Dae-jong and Roh Moo-hyun.
North Korean diplomat denies leader Kim is ill - wtop.
PANMUNJOM, Korea (AP) - A North Korean diplomat denied Friday that leader Kim Jong Il is ill, calling widespread speculation about the leader's health troubles nonsense spread by bad people.
It is the second time North Korean officials have denied Kim is ill.
The South Korean government says Kim is recovering.
officials also told The Associated Press last week that Kim had suffered a stroke.
On Friday, South Korea's Dong-a Ilbo newspaper reported that Washington believes Kim is in serious condition, and has not ruled out the possibility that he might be incapacitated.
Kim has been on the fast track to success due to not only his excellent performance but also earning the trust of former President Kim Dae-jung.
The selection of Unification Minister-designate Kim comes as a surprise for the right-leaning new president, who has vowed a tougher stance on the nuclear standoff with North Korea.
Kim is known to have played a role in former President Kim Dae-jung's engagement policy toward the North, serving as his foreign policy adviser.
But Kim has no plans to meet North Korean officials, he said.
SEOUL (AP) -- North Korea denied Wednesday that leader Kim Jong Il is seriously ill, granting a Japanese news outlet a rare chance to interview top officials who dismissed widespread reports questioning Kim's health.
Subsequently, the criticism has come forth from in and outside the National Assembly that after Professor Nam Joo Hong fell from his position as Chief of the Ministry, Kim was backed as a figure who could reach an appropriate compromise with the opposition party.
The official said Kim had collapsed, but did not say when or how serious was his condition.
If Kim is indeed gravely ill or even worse, dead, this cannot be good for the market in the short-term, as political instability and uncertainties on the North will heighten South Korea's geopolitical risks,' said Lee Kyoung-su of Taurus Investment & Securities.
intelligence official said there have been no signs of a change in governing power and that assessing whether Kim was still capable of running the country would 'call for a lot of speculation.
Kim has three known sons but has not been seen as grooming any of them to take the reigns.
Kim had been anointed as the successor by his father and state founder Kim Il-sung well before he took over after his father's death in 1994.
Kim has a history of diabetes and heart disease, Seoul officials say.
During the visit, Kim praised the reconstruction of the Central Zoo at the foot of Mount Taesong, calling it a treasure of the communist nation, the Korean Central News Agency said from the capital, Pyongyang.
Mr Kim is also said to be stricken with diabetes and heart disease.
South Korean officials have been the leading source of information about the North Korean leader's health, providing intelligence reports to reporters that Kim had a stroke in mid-August, underwent brain surgery and is now recovering.
Openly, the South Korean government has only said that it has intelligence reports that Kim is recovering from a stroke, his condition is not serious and he has not lost his grip on power.
North Korea has denied Kim is ill, with senior officials saying in an interview with Japan's Kyodo News agency last week that there are no problems with the leader and rejecting Western media reports of his illness as a "conspiracy plot.
Kim said the government hopes to have talks to discuss ways to resume the tour program soon.
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) North Korea denied Wednesday that leader Kim Jong Il is seriously ill, granting a foreign news outlet rare interviews with top officials who dismissed reports questioning Kims health following his absence from a key ceremony.
The National Intelligence Service also told the committee that Kim is in a recoverable and manageable condition, and that the North is not in a power vacuum, Yonhap said.
A North Korean diplomat denied Friday that leader Kim Jong Il is ill, calling widespread speculation about the leader's health troubles "nonsense spread by bad people.
A North Korean diplomat has angrily denied that leader Kim Jong Il is ill.
But the official stressed it was certain that Kim has not died, Yonhap said.
They want to show that Kim is fully in control of his regime, said Koh Yu-hwan, a professor of North Korean studies at Seoul's Dongguk University.
South Korean officials, who in September cited intelligence indicating Kim had suffered a stroke but was recovering, said they cannot confirm Kim's current condition.
Analysts say more recent images sent by KCNA look credible, and back the theory that Kim is recuperating from a stroke.
Kim is expected to strengthen the Foreign Ministry’ role in North Korean policy, including the handling of the nuclear crisis.
An official with South Korea's Unification Ministry, which keeps close tabs on reports out of the North, said this was the first time Kim has been reported as appearing before the general public at a large event since his suspected illness.
The slew of recent reports of his visits has likely convinced the masses that Kim has not lost his grip on power, they said.
North Korea's major anniversaries.
watching the West's reaction to his 'disappearance.