Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi and South Korean President Kim Dae Jung signed during their summit meeting Thursday a 43-point joint action plan aimed at enhancing ties toward the next century.The paper covered a wide range of topics for the two countries to pursue together and covered five major areas — dialogue expansion, peace and security cooperation, economic relations, global issues and cultural exchanges.As for dialogue expansion, the action plan called for bilateral summits at least once a year, as well as stepping up ministerial level talks for a greater exchange of views.The two nations will further enhance the exchange of ministers, lawmakers and young diplomats, and realize a ministerial forum at an early date, gathering various ministers for free discussion, according to the paper.In the area of security cooperation, the two nations agreed to work together to promote reform of the United Nations, and South Korea said it expects Japan to play a greater role in U.N. activities.In addition, the two countries said they would continue joint efforts to ensure regional security and, above all, attempt to persuade North Korea to sign the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty and other disarmament treaties.Dialogue on security measures is to be held at least once a year and multilateral dialogue on regional security will be promoted, according to the action plan.The two nations also renewed their commitment to promoting a light-water nuclear power reactor project under the auspices of the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization.Economic cooperation was also a major pillar of the action plan, with Japan pledging to provide $3 billion in loans from the Export-Import Bank of Japan to help South Korea overcome economic difficulties.On the cultural front, the two nations said they will cooperate to bring the 2002 World Cup soccer tournament to a successful end.The two nations will also enhance cultural exchange, with South Korea pledging to take efforts to expose its people to Japanese culture, the paper said.

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