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Roh Presents DVDs to Film-Loving Kim

2007/10/03 | Permalink | Source

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By Joint Press Corps,
Kim Sue-young, Kim Yon-se
Staff Reporter

PYONGYANG _ President Roh Moo-hyun offered gifts, which included DVDs, to North Korean leader Kim Jong-il who is known as a film fanatic before the summit talks began Wednesday.

He also gave other gifts, such as a large traditional folding partition and tea leaves collected from across South Korea.

Kim expressed his gratitude to President Roh after listening to explanations about the gifts.

Included in the DVD set was the TV series, "Dae Jang Geum", starring Lee Young-ae, a 36-year-old actress. Kim is known to be a fan of her.

Lee gained popularity in Asia through the drama, which depicts the hardships of a female cook in the royal palace during the Joseon Kingdom (1392-1910).

Also among the array of DVDs was a South Korean documentary film on the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), which has divided the Korean Peninsula for over half a century.

Roh gave Kim details about the traditional partition, which was made by a South Korean craftsman whose works decorated a meeting room for the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum held in Busan in 2005.

He added that he usually offers the screen to foreign leaders who visit the South or whom he meets during his overseas trip.

Kim expressed appreciation, saying, "You brought me precious pieces".

As for the DVD set, Roh mentioned that the picture qualities as well as content of South Korean movies were very good.

Film-loving Kim reportedly has a collection of many foreign films and even ordered the abduction of a prominent South Korean film director in the past. The filmmaker, Shin Sang-ok, escaped the regime in 1986 with his wife, actress Choi Eun-hee, after producing propaganda-oriented films for North Korea.

According to defectors, South Korea's pop culture products, including movies and songs, are getting popular in the reclusive North despite its strict regulations on their inflow.

In the first-ever summit meeting in 2000, former President Kim Dae-jung presented a 60-inch-screen television set, three video tape recorders, an electric organ and two "jindogae", dogs indigenous to South Korea.

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