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[Focus] Kim to make visit to Norway in private capacity

Posted November. 30, 2000 14:13,   


There would be no problems at all if Kim Dae-Jung were not president.

With regard to the controversy over whether President Kim should go to Oslo, Norway, to attend the Nobel Peace Prize award ceremony, the first of kind in Korea`s diplomatic annals, a related government official made this point. What is the background for this remark?

In what capacity will the president go to Norway?

President Kim will visit Norway purely in his private capacity. The Nobel Foundation has made a rule to ask the peace prize laureates to visit the country in a private capacity to live up to the noble spirit of the Nobel award, even if the recipients are heads of state or not.

Yet President Kim is to make an official visit to Sweden, where a congratulatory ceremony will be held for all other Nobel prize winners. An official visit is lower than a state visit in terms of diplomatic protocols. The Swedish government authorities explained that the decision was made in consideration of the Swedish king`s itinerary but that Kim would be accorded with treatment equivalent to a state visit.

What about the expense for his visit?

This is a most sticky question for Chong Wa Dae and government officials. The expense for a chartered plane is usually around us$1.5 million to US$1.7 million. Some officials opined that because he is to make a trip in an individual capacity, his visit should be covered not by the state coffer but by some other financial sources. However, the government has decided to charter a civil aircraft, as this is unavoidable in view of security and other problems and to disburse state budget in consideration of difficulties raising funds from private persons and organizations, it was learned.

How about his security and protocols?

The related government officials said that his upcoming trip would be little different from his other overseas visits, because his position is invariably is the president of the Republic of Korea. The officials pointed out that when U.S. President Bill Clinton attends his Democratic functions, the needed expenses are covered by the party budget, but that outlay for his security and protocols by the state treasury.