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U.S. view of ASEM

Posted October. 20, 2000 20:56,   


The general view of U.S. reporters is that the ASEM summit in Seoul has no particular issues worth covering. They have no particular interest in the summit, except for European countries¡¯ efforts to improve relations with North Korea. But they are going to see how the summit of the Asian and European leaders will proceed in the absence of the United States.

The U.S. has led the direction of Western news reporting by sending large groups of journalists to multi-party international conferences such as the APEC (Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation), WTO (World Trade Organization) and G8 Meeting.

But the Seoul ASEM Press Center was crowded with reporters only from Asia and Europe as of Friday afternoon. Few American reporters were found in the center, even though a total of 70 U.S. reporters registered to cover the summit.

U.S. reporters covering the summit in the press center numbered less then 10, with only those from AP, APTN and broadcasting companies selling news stories working busily. CNN Friday interviewed only British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook, who revealed his government¡¯s intention to establish diplomatic ties with North Korea

Stella Kim of Time said the U.S. is currently concerned only with Korea¡¯s stock market crash and economic instability, adding that she had no particular plans for a story about ASEM.

Paul Wiseman, Hong Kong bureau chief of USA Today, said he was interested more in the economic influence of the Asia-Europe meeting than the ASEM itself.

A U.S. news agency reporter said the European Union established ASEM to lead its own relationship with Asia independent of the U.S., expressing a skeptical view of the result. However, he said he was watching closely how EU-Asia relations would develop.