Thu, May 09, 2013 - Page 8 News List

All eyes on S Korea’s new leader

By Richard Halloran

South Korean officials have suggested that their president will call for a multilateral initiative in Northeast Asia in which China, Japan, South Korea, Mongolia, Russia and the US seek to resolve environmental issues. If such an effort was successful, members would step up to more difficult issues, such as maritime security.

Another if: North Korea would be invited to join the initiative if Kim could give assurances that his regime would live up to whatever agreements they made. Pyongyang’s record on this score is not good, which may be the understatement of the week.

In addition, Park Geun-hye has brought with her a large entourage of business executives from the chaebol, or conglomerates, who will be meeting with US executives to discuss trade.

This is significant as the US has long complained that Seoul blocked many US exports to South Korea.

Richard Halloran is a commentator in Hawaii.

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