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Summit Meeting between Seoul and Washington Was Photo-op

Summit Meeting between Seoul and Washington Was Photo-op

Posted June. 26, 2003 21:20,   


Joel Wit (picture), a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS), contended on June 26 that at a meeting of the Trilateral Coordination and Oversight Group (TCOG) held in Hawaii on June 13, South Korea had frustrated the United States` efforts to establish an international alliance for the interdiction of North Korea transporting drugs, missiles, and parts of weapons of mass destruction.

At a symposium on Northeast Asia`s politics and four major powers` policy toward the Korean Peninsula in 2003, held at Seoul Plaza Hotel, the senior fellow said so and added that at the TCOG meeting, differences between South Korea and the U.S. escalated into a clash.

According to him, at the summit meeting on May 14, South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun and US President George W. Bush just papered over differences between the two nations, but the differences are surfacing again. He also quoted a U.S. expert as saying that the Summit between Seoul and Washington was no more than a photo opportunity.

Joel Wit alleged that the executive council of the Korea Peninsula Energy Development Organization (KEDO) had not convened for several months because the Korean government were avoiding such a meeting, worrying about U.S. hawks putting pressure to stop the construction of two light water reactors in North Korea.

He has worked at disarmament and nonproliferation sectors within the U.S. State Department and he was the department`s 1994 Agreed Framework coordinator.

Young-Sik Kim spear@donga.com