MB’s address to focus on the North

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MB’s address to focus on the North

President Lee Myung-bak will give a special New Year’s address Monday to present his plan for the next year’s state affairs, the Blue House said yesterday. According to the presidential office, the speech will focus on two themes - inter-Korean relations and the economy. Lee will give the 20-minute address from the Blue House at 10 a.m. Monday, and the speech is scheduled to be aired live through TV and radio networks nationwide. The South Korean government’s views on the new security situation on the Korean Peninsula in the aftermath of North Korean leader Kim Jong-il’s death and how the Lee administration will define the future direction of its North Korea policy will be discussed, sources said.

It remains to be seen if Lee will present a fresh proposition to North Korea’s new leadership, led by Kim’s youngest son Jong-un, in a move to make a breakthrough in frozen inter-Korean relations. Observers said it is likely that Lee would take a cautious approach. Lee, a CEO-turned-president, will also present measures to overcome economic challenges, particularly inflation and unemployment.

By Ser Myo-ja [myoja@joongang.co.kr]
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