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Foreign Media Reserved over Inter-Korean Summit

Posted October. 04, 2007 07:56,   


Reactions to the inter-Korean summit from the foreign media have been mixed.

While the Chinese media has been very interested in the talks, U.S. and Japanese outlets were quiet or even disinterested. Hong Kong’s warned that expectations of the dialogue should not be too high.

A wave of breaking news-

On October 3, President Roh Moo-hyun and North Korean Leader Kim Jong Il had a meeting 30 minutes earlier than planned in the Paekhwawon State Guest House. This news was sent to the world from Seoul. Kim suggested that the summit be extended by one more day. Soon after that, Roh declined his proposal and decided to return to Seoul as planned on October 4.

The BBC reported, “Two Korean leaders start historical summit meeting.” The British broadcaster posted Kim’s proposal to extend the summit by one day on its web site and then deleted it and posted Roh’s refusal.

The AP and AFP also reported Kim’s proposal and then Roh’s refusal and plans to return as scheduled.

U.S media giving the cold shoulder to the summit-

On its web page, the Washington Post said “Kim, who expects huge sums of aid money from the South, did not seem that happy.”

The Post reported, “A large number of North Koreans, who seemed to be there by state order, waved paper flowers for Roh. But Kim failed to make eye contact with Roh and Kim did not seem to be happy throughout.”

On October 3, a few Japanese morning papers did not mention the summit meeting on their front pages at all. Only the Asahi Shimbun and the Nihon Geizai Shimbun had editorials on the inter-Korean summit.

In its editorial entitled, ‘Nuclear renouncement promises needed,’ the Asahi Shimbun pointed out, “The 2007 Summit is somewhat superficial compared with the historic 2000 summit.”

Itar-Tass of Russia analyzed, “The North seems to be unhappy about South Korean proposals on how to implement what was agreed to at the six-party talks.”

Chinese media shows keen interest-

Like they did on October 2, the Chinese media mentioned the inter-Korean summit as front-page news.

State-run papers like the English-language China Daily, boasting the largest circulation in China, and the Beijing News ran articles on the summit on their front pages.

The state-run People’s Daily, however, devoted its front page to President Hu Jintao and reported on the summit on its fourth page.

In its editorial titled, ‘Blockbuster from the bluff master? Don`t bet on it,’ Hong Kong’s South China Morning Daily stressed that expectations for the North should not be too high.

German media is calm-

The German media was not excited about the summit, reporting on the meaning and outlook of the meeting only.

The German weekly Der Spiegel ran the article: ‘Planned welcome, cold ambience,’ which said that there was less excitement this time around.

The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) said, “A peace treaty reached between the two sides would strengthen the two-nation system. Such a treaty could reduce regional conflict, but there seems to be no possibility of such an era of reconciliation.”

The French daily Le Monde reported in its editorial on October 2, “The summit meeting shows the shared will of the two Korean leaders that the fate of the Korean peninsula should be in the hands of Koreans.”