BUSH ROH
Charles Dharapak  /  AP
President Bush, listens to South Korea's President Roh Moo-hyun, left, Friday in the Oval Office.
updated 6/10/2005 8:47:12 PM ET 2005-06-11T00:47:12

President Bush said Friday that he and South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun intend to speak with “one voice” on the urgency of getting North Korea to rejoin stalled six-nation talks on its nuclear program. But Roh said some differences remain in their approaches.

“South Korea and the United States share the same goal, and that is a Korean peninsula with no nuclear weapons,” Bush said. North Korea’s nuclear program was the top item on the agenda of the two leaders in their Oval Office meeting.

Generally, South Korea favors more engagement with the North, while the United States has staked out a more hard-line position. The Bush administration wants China and South Korea to do more to persuade Pyongyang to return to the talks, which have been deadlocked for nearly a year.

Roh said there were some remaining differences between his country and the United States.

“There are one or two minor issues, but I’m certain we will be able to work them out with dialogue,” Roh said.

“We’ll continue to work to have one voice,” Bush said.

Video: Lifting North Korea's veil North Korea has sent mixed signals on whether it will return to the talks, which also include the United States, China, South Korea, Japan and Russia.

Earlier this week, North Korean diplomats indicated they were willing to rejoin the talks, but set no date. A North Korean official later boasted that the communist regime already has a nuclear stockpile, and was making more weapons.

Bush said that despite such talk, he was hopeful that North Korean leader Kim Jong Il could be persuaded to send a delegation back to the talks and to abandon nuclear ambitions.

“The (South Korean) president and I both agree the six-party talks are essential to saying to Mr. Kim Jong Il that he ought to give up his weapons, and making it very clear to him that the way to join the community of nations is to listen to China and South Korea and Japan and Russia and the United States, and that is to give up nuclear weapons,” Bush said.

Bush offered no new inducements to the reclusive nation, saying trade and economic incentives contained in a U.S.-backed offer made last June stand.

“We laid out a way forward last June and it’s a reasonable proposal and we’re still awaiting the answer to that proposal,” Bush said.

Still, it was clear that Bush and Roh hadn’t bridged all their differences.

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