"President Lee is resolute in his stance that he will not go to Pyongyang to hold a summit," an official at the presidential office said Tuesday. "The venue is a very sensitive issue for us. Looking at the president's official comments made since his inauguration about an inter-Korean summit, he has said he is willing to hold one 'at any time' but not 'at any time and any place' as was the position of previous administrations. This is an important point."I can understand a need for security, which might preclude Seoul, as well as a location that would take into consideration Kim Jong-il's apparent fear of travel. Perhaps Sŏraksan would be appropriate, considering that its sister national park, North Korea's Kŭmgangsan, is a favored venue for North-South interaction. Or maybe Kanghwa-do Island, which is easily accessible to North Korea by ship or a combination of rail and road, would be a good place. Or maybe just Torasan Station, just south of the DMZ on the Seoul-Pyongyang rail link.
The reason why Ch'ŏng•wa•dae (the Blue House) is placing so much importance on the venue is because of a focus on reciprocity in relations with North Korea, borne of a sense that previous administrations were at the North's beck and call. "Former presidents Kim Daejung and Roh Moohyun both went to North Korea for the summits, and based on the principle of reciprocity, the position of this administration is that there will be no more summit trips to Pyongyang," one official said.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Mohammed Lee will not go to the mountain of Kim
All this talk about a Lee-Kim summit is being pooh-poohed by the Blue House. The current government has been quite critical of visits by former presidents Kim Daejung and Roh Moohyun, and the last thing they want to do is look like they are kowtowing to the Dear Leader.
According to the Chosun Ilbo, we should expect a summit in Seoul or elsewhere in South Korea, if one is to be expected at all: