October 5, 2007 / 1:45 AM / in 12 years

North Korea's Kim marks summit magic with mushrooms

SEOUL (Reuters) - The leader of destitute North Korea gave his presidential guest from the South four tonnes of prized pine mushrooms worth up to $2.6 million at their summit this week, South Korean media reported on Friday.

A kilogram of pine mushrooms, a Korean delicacy, can sell for as much as 600,000 won ($654) in South Korean stores.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-il had the 500 boxes of the mushrooms trucked to the border for South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun to take back after their three-day summit.

“Thank you. I will share it well in compliance with the wishes of the person who gave this to us,” Roh was quoted as saying.

It was one tonne more than Kim gave South Korea’s then-president Kim Dae-jung during the first summit of the two states, which were forged at the start of the Cold War and are still technically at war.

Roh gave film-buff Kim a collection of South Korean films and television dramas, normally banned in the communist North, as well as a painted folding screen and a fine tea set.

$1=916.1 Won

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