For the first time since President George W. Bush took office in 2001, we have a US president and a ROK president who are mostly sort of on the same page. And this comes at a time when Tokyo is the ally that's giving Washington a headache. Interesting things afoot.
As the first few links suggest, North Korea and the FTA will be dominant subjects. Maybe for the first time in a while, USFK won't be a hot topic. And that's prolly a good thing.
Meanwhile we have no progress on the cause of the fire in Pusan, with one more death coming from that. The captain of the North Korean tanker was apparently killed, but for some reason this topic just isn't playing out in the K-blogs. If it doesn't involve boobies or evil hagwons, people just aren't interested.
- US President Obama arrives in Seoul for summit with ROK President Lee Myungbak (LAT, UPI, CNN, Yonhap)
- Obama vows to pass KORUS FTA sometime in 2010 (links here)
- Visit seen as chance to quell trade concerns (Bloomberg, AP via WaPo, Yonhap)
- Coordinating efforts to deal with North Korea seen as top priority (WaPo, WSJ, AP via WaPo, AFP, Reuters via WaPo, Joongang Daily)
- Obama and Lee seek to accentuate the positives of improving ROK-US relationship (AP via WaPo)
- Democratic Congressman Sander Levin from Michigan says South Korea demand "major changes" to FTA for it to pass (Bloomberg)
- ROK business organizations call for swift approval of FTA (Yonhap)