Go to contents

Pres. Lee Urges China, Japan to Back ‘Grand Bargain’

Posted September. 23, 2009 23:02,   


President Lee Myung-bak yesterday urged China and Japan to support his proposed “grand bargain” for getting North Korea to scrap its nuclear program.

Attending the U.N. Climate Change Summit and General Assembly in New York, President Lee finished key appointments in his itinerary. He held summit talks with Chinese President Hu Jintao in the morning and with Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama in the afternoon.

President Lee also delivered his first keynote speech at the United Nations since his inauguration.

His summit with Hu was their first in five months since one on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit in London in April. The core agenda of the 40 minute-long meeting was undoubtedly the North Korean nuclear standoff.

President Lee complemented Hu’s efforts to persuade the North to return to talks by sending Chinese State Councilor Dai Bingguo to Pyongyang as a special envoy. The South Korean leader urged Hu to take a leadership role since his country is the host of the six-party talks.

Hu also reportedly gave a briefing on the results of Dai’s visit to the North.

A presidential office source said President Lee also explained his intent behind his “grand bargain” or “one-shot big deal” to resolve the North’s nuclear program, which seeks a collective resolution of Pyongyang’s nuclear dismantlement in return for economic aid.

In his keynote speech to the U.N. General Assembly “The Republic of Korea Contributing to the World – Global Korea and Green Growth,” President Lee said his country is turning into a mature global nation, pledging important contributions to establishing an international cooperation regime and assisting developing nations to assure world peace and co-prosperity.

As a leading country in green growth, he said, South Korea is developing a future-oriented growth model by banking on a strategy of low carbon and green growth. He also promoted discussion of water management to the international community.

President Lee also warned of water-related disasters including shortage, drought and rising sea levels, saying, “Fossil fuels can be replaced but water cannot.”

“The international community must establish a governance system to effectively address water issues. I propose a measure for water management cooperation that is specialized and integrated to establish a more effective international cooperation regime.”