Go to contents

Influential Americans Plan Visits to North Korea

Posted July. 23, 2005 03:11,   


Influential figures such as Ted Turner, founder and former chairman of CNN, and Jim Leach, chairman of the U.S. House Committee on International Relations, are expected to visit North Korea in August.

Diplomatic sources in Washington said that Turner, accompanied by a huge CNN media corps, was planning a visit to North Korea in mid August to discuss North Korea’s ecosystem conservation measures in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) with the Turner Foundation, an international environmental conservation organization which he runs.

His visit is expected to coincide with another influential American’s visit to North Korea. Donald Gregg, president and chairman of the Board of Korea Society and former U.S. Ambassador to South Korea, reportedly plans to visit Pyongyang in mid August. During his stay for three nights and four days beginning on August 13, he is scheduled to meet Kim Gye Gwan, North Korea`s Vice Foreign Minister, and discuss ways to provide assistance to the IT English education business.

In addition, Leach is scheduled to visit North Korea in late August. He has been urging the Bush administration to make an attempt to initiate talks in any form with North Korea to resolve the nuclear stand-off, while criticizing the reclusive kingdom’s poor human rights records. He said at the North Korea Human Rights Conference which was held in Washington on July 19 “You should refrain from talking about a war unless you want a war.”

One source from political circles in Washington said, “His visit carries great significance given that he is the incumbent chairman of the U.S. House Committee on International Relations and his visit is timed to take place shortly after the fourth round of the six party talks.” His aides refused to comment on his planned visit.