Interview with Roger Clinton on his Pyongyang visit


Here is an interview with Roger Clinton, U.S. President Clinton's brother, who visited north Korea from Dec. 2 to 8 with his band members to take part in a north-south joint concert. It was interviewed in Pyongyang.


Q. How do you think of the meaning of your music concert at Pyongyang, be held in a situation that the country and the U.S. are in hostile relations?


A. I have taken a means of music to promote better understanding and exchanges between the two countries. I think the Pyongyang concert was of great significance for restoring peace to the two Koreas and the United States.

 However, though the U.S. and north Korea have been in confrontation with each other, I could have an opportunity to pay homage to the late President Kim Il Sung, through my Pyongyang visit as well as the visit of my music concert. I think we have done what U.S. diplomats should do in north Korea.

 U.S.-north Korea relations are going well in view of recent developments. I think my Pyongyang visit this time will help expedite the bilateral relationships.


Q. You co-starred with north and south Korean musicians.


A. They fully showed their excellent music talent at the concert. The concert proved that it was possible to realize a better north-south relationship if they cooperate. It is nothing but a tragedy that Korea has been divided even now when we are close to the coming new millennium. The problem should be settled by peaceful means as early as possible.


Q. You visited Pammunjom, which is called a symbol of division of the Korean Peninsula. In what way do you think can we contribute to the reunification of Korea as an American?


A. I visited Pyongyang and Pammunjom. This fact demonstrates, I think, a positive development favorable to the development of pending issues.

 I am not a President nor am I a lawmaker. But I believe, through art and culture, I am able to do the thing that politicians can't do it. Art and culture are  familiar to people and have a great influence on them.


Q. What is your impression of Pyongyang?


A. I was much impressed by the warm reception of Pyongyangites. I am very proud of having performed in Pyongyang and I will keep it in mind that this was a great generosity that the Korean people and government granted to me. I would like to convey my gratitude to the DPRK leader Kim Jong Il for allowing me to perform in his country.

 During my Pyongyang visit, I could see Pyongyang people’s life, tradition, their hopes for the future and their love for their compatriots. I had had my own image for north Korea once but the fact is different in many aspects. For instance, I did not perceive any threatening atmosphere that I heard of.


Q. As you know, north Korea is a socialistic country that is based on ideological principles. The county has a lot of different points compared with America.


A. I have no intention to objecting people who makes a living according to their belief. Any people can live in their own way that they think right.

 I think we can understand each other. Culture is a powerful means  to realizing it. For example, the performance that I saw at Mangyongdae Students and Children Palace was very wonderful. I have never seen such talented children before. It was a great performance that you won't find in any other parts of the world.

 I have an idea that no oppressive means would lead a peaceful settlement of the Korean issue.  Real human relationships do not require power.

 I have received a message of peace from Pyongyang, which I will correctly convey to our people.  

Roger Clinton receives a brush writing at Mangyongdae Students and Children's Palace

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