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Second Inter-Korean Summit in Pyongyang

Posted August. 09, 2007 05:58,   

한국어

After Pyongyang was picked as the venue for the upcoming inter-Korean summit following the first summit held in the city in June 2000, people are increasingly asking why the city was selected again.

The joint declaration released at the first summit said, “President Kim Dae-jung invited North Korean Supreme Commander Kim Jong Il to Seoul, and Mr. Kim Jong Il decided to visit Seoul at an appropriate time.” This means that the venue for a second summit was likely Seoul.

However, Pyongyang was selected as the venue again, which means Kim Jong Il will not pay a return visit to Seoul.

Kim Man-bok, head of the National Intelligence Service, explained, “The North proposed to hold the meeting in Pyongyang, saying that the city is the most appropriate to serve President Roh Moo-hyun well. And the president accepted that proposal.” He also added that the government has consistently believed that a summit can be held “anytime anywhere,” only if North Korea agrees.

However, many say that North Korea insists on Pyongyang to be the summit venue for “other reasons.”

Above all, the North believes that it cannot adequately protect its leader in Seoul. The communist regime is reportedly concerned about “unexpected events,” such as protest rallies by South Korean organizations.

In 2000, North Korea did not disclose the venue and time until the eve of the first summit for security reasons. Kim Jong Il is reportedly very careful about his security, keeping his activities secret and changing fixed schedules several times a day, even in his own country.

Other say that the North is attempting to take advantage of two summits in Pyongyang to idolize Kim Jong Il by being able to say that, “South Korean presidents come to Pyongyang to meet Dear Leader Kim Jong Il.”



myzodan@donga.com