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Bush, Roh will meet in Hanoi

Analysts say the two leaders won’t have much to discuss

Nov 15,2006
A short summit is scheduled this weekend between President Roh Moo-hyun and U.S. President George W. Bush, a top Blue House official said, but the two leaders probably won’t have much to say.
The two leaders are expected to meet for 40 to 50 minutes on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation leaders’ meeting in Hanoi, Vietnam, but would probably only vow mutual cooperation for the upcoming six-party talks, said a White House source in Washington, D.C. who declined to be named.
Another source in Washington said the ongoing Korea-U.S. free-trade talks will be given more importance.
The meeting comes after Seoul’s decision not to take part in the U.S.-led Proliferation Security Initiative, a program designed to prevent the transfer of weapons of mass destruction, and the defeat of Mr. Bush’s Republican Party in the U.S. mid-term elections.
Michael Green, the former senior director for Asia at the National Security Council under Mr. Bush, told the Washington Post that Korea is doing “virtually nothing to impose a cost on the North” and added, regarding the Roh-Bush meeting, “That will be a difficult discussion.”
Mr. Roh will also meet the leaders of China, Vietnam, Canada and Japan this weekend, according to the top official, who refused to be identified.
The annual gathering of leaders of Pacific Rim nations, which takes place this Saturday and Sunday, is being closely watched following the Oct. 9 North Korean nuclear test and the decision to resume the six-party nuclear talks.
A date has not yet been set for the talks, but they are expected to restart during the first half of next month.
Mr. Roh is scheduled to depart on Friday.
He will meet his Chinese counterpart, President Hu Jintao, later in the day.
Shortly after meeting Mr. Hu, Mr. Roh will meet the Vietnamese president, Nguyen Minh Triet.
Mr. Roh is expected to have a busy Saturday, as he is also scheduled to meet Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper to discuss economic and trade issues.
In the afternoon, Mr. Roh is meeting the Japanese prime minister, Shinzo Abe. They also held summit talks in Seoul after North Korea conducted its nuclear test.
The official added that a detailed schedule for a meeting with the Russian president Vladimir Putin has not yet been confirmed.


by Kang Chan-ho,Chun Su-jin


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