Monday, February 1, 2010

Lee seems to be softening on idea of summit with Dear Leader

So reports the Joongang Daily:
In an interview with BBC during his visit to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland last week, Lee said, “I can’t say for sure it [the summit] will be held soon but I think I can meet [Kim Jong-il] within this year,” according to an audio file unofficially released by BBC to the Korean Broadcasting System. However, when his interview remarks were written down for an official press release from the Blue House, the quote had been slightly watered-down by Kim Eun-hye, spokeswoman for the Blue House, to read, “There is no reason for me not to meet him even within this year.”

As controversy surrounding this remark grew, Kim apologized to the president. She also apologized to Blue House journalists and said that the press release was tweaked because “the President was extremely tired during the [BBC] interview” and that due to his condition, the interview didn’t go as smoothly as expected. She said she was extra cautious because his remarks could have large ramifications.
Jet lag? He could have blamed his English skills.

As is often the case, the competing English-language dailies have a slightly different take, with the Korea Times emphasizing that "there has been no attempt to arrange an inter-Korean summit."

Frankly, I don't mind if there's a summit, just as long as President Lee leaves his checkbook* at home.

* People in South Korea don't actually carry checkbooks, since there's no "checks" in the way that people from North America know them, so this expression is meant figuratively. I mean, he can't just write out "Pay to the order of Kim Jong-il" and then write out all those zeroes. Ah, but wouldn't it be funny if he did, and then he wrote an up arrow pointing to "DPRK" in small letters just before the word "won." Oh, what a prank to pay the Dear Leader in worthless North Korean currency. Ha ha, suckah! You're not playing with Roh Moohyun no more! Ah, but my plan is foiled, because people in South Korea don't actually carry checkbooks.

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