» 10/01/2007, 00.00
South Korean president to cross northern border with North on foot
The symbolic gesture will start Roh Moo-hyun’s visit. South Korean leader will meet his North Korean counterpart, Kim Jong-il, at least five times. His presence at the controversial ‘Arirang’ show causes anger, opposition calls it one of Pyongyang’s preferred tools of torture.
Seoul (AsiaNews/Agencies) – South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun has decided to cross the demarcation line that divides the Korean peninsula on foot “to serve as an historic occasion,” his press office announced, raising doubts about how the second intra-Korean summit in 60 years will be organised. According to Unification Minister Lee Jae-joung, the “president and his entourage crossing the MDL on foot will be an historic and impressive moment [. . .] to establish peace on the Korean Peninsula.”
Roh and North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il are expected to meet at least five times in formal meetings during the summit.
The summit should start with Mr Roh attending an official welcoming ceremony in Pyongyang hosted by Supreme People’s Assembly President Kim Yong-nam. The key moment will take place on Wednesday when the two Korean leaders meet, with only a few key aides present.
Afterwards, Roh is to watch North Korea’s mass gymnastics propaganda performance “Arirang.”
His decision to attend the controversial event has provoked an irate reaction in the South where the opposition attacked the president for taking part what it considers one of Kim Jong-il’s favourite tools of torture, saying that it is like having a South Korean delegation attend the event is like visiting a concentration camp.
14/08/2007 NORTH KOREA – SOUTH KOREA
Hopes and doubts ahead of intra-Korean summit
Pyongyang starts preliminary talks with Seoul in preparation for late August historic summit. But in South Korea there are doubts as well as hopes. At issue are the summit’s location, timing and agenda.
Peace is ultimately something for North and South to decide, says Seoul in rebuttal to US
South Korean Unification Minister replies to statement by US ambassador in Seoul who said that reunification of the peninsula required international mediation. US analysts not surprised by reaction.
After 50 years Seoul and Pyongyang agree on rail link
The two Koreas agree to reopen trans-border rail tracks. South Korea hopes the new railway line will be linked to the Trans-Siberian railway, connecting the peninsula to Europe.
Intra-Korean summit raises hopes but also anxieties
The joint declaration by the two Korean leaders stresses security, prosperity, dialogue and peace. The South makes a lot of concessions in the area of economic development, but fails to get the North to accept disarmament further along the demilitarised zone.
Roh and Kim are all smiles, but little is expected from talks
Atmosphere is cordial but no one expects much from the first meetings in terms of results. The United States issues a statement about the upcoming six-nation talks which should mark the end to Pyongyang’s nuclear programme.
VATICAN - USA
Pope to Trump: America’s greatness is measured by its attention to the poor
Pope Francis exalts the "rich spiritual and ethical values that have shaped the history of the American people” and the nation’s “commitment to the advancement of human dignity and freedom worldwide ". Concerns " for the poor, the outcast and those in need who, like Lazarus, stand before our door ". The oath Trump preceded by various prayers of Catholic, Protestant, Jewish Representatives. The slogan "America first" will guide political choices. String criticism of the establishment. China’s caution and the enthusiasm of the president of Taiwan.
CHINA - UNITED STATES
The Trump era begins: The China-US relationship and the risk of war
As the inauguration ceremony of the Trump presidency approaches, the Propaganda Bureau of the Chinese Communist Party has banned all journalists from “unauthorized criticism" of Trump’ words and deeds. According to the great dissident Wei Jingsheng there is a chance that Trump will force China into fair trade deals, possibly leading to political and legal reforms. A trade war is an option.
20/01/2017 CHINA - UNITED STATES
AsiaNews IS ALSO A MONTHLY!
AsiaNews monthly magazine (in Italian) is free.