A high level source November 25th said the reason there were no summit talks between North and South Korea in the last year was because Kim Jong-il had been avoiding Lee Myung-bak.
Kim let known his views unofficially when returning from a site inspection in the latter part of November. He said he disliked Lee more than any other South Korean leader in generations because "Lee is clever and won't give us any aid or support in talks."
"I've thought about meeting him but I don't care for him," Kim reportedly said. Expecting nothing of direct material benefit to North Korea from discussions between the two Kim lacked the confidence to sit down with him. The sources insight into Kim Jong-il's waning self belief as his end neared is of itself valuable historical material.
As he spoke of Lee Myung-bak, Kim also provided his opinions on other South Korean leaders. He regarded Park Chung-hee as the smartest and most personally appealing. Chun Doo-hwan he thought of as the most foolish after his violent repression of the Gwangju protests. He cursed Kim Young-sam as bad for his tough policy stance toward North Korea, especially after Kim Il-sung's death. Kim Dae-jung, though cunning was "bloody stupid" for providing remittances to the North amongst other acts. "Roh Moo-hyun had a hard life and seemed like a good man," the source reported Kim Jong-il as remarking while saying his death was a shame.
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