Influx of diplomats is challenge for officials

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Influx of diplomats is challenge for officials

For Seoul officials in charge of diplomatic protocol, the Seoul Nuclear Security Summit poses some never-before-seen challenges.

A total of 58 top leaders representing 53 nations worldwide and four international organizations will attend the summit, including leaders from the main powers concerned with the nuclear situation on the Korean Peninsula: the United States, China, Japan and Russia.

The number of VIP guests at the nuclear summit is a record high for Korea, even surpassing that of the G20 Summit in Seoul in November 2010, which moved Korea from the periphery of the global diplomatic stage closer to the center.

It’s not only the VIPs. The number of all participants at the nuclear summit will be approximately 10,000, including 3,700 from the media at home and abroad, according to the organizers of the summit.

About 20 leaders attending the nuclear summit will be accompanied by their spouses, compared with 13 during the Seoul G20 Summit. A total of 48 presidential planes and 20 chartered planes have been mobilized to transport them to Korea.

A total of 18 languages will be spoken at the summit, meaning legions of interpreters will be standing by.

Tens of thousands of police and military officers are being mobilized for the security of the summit.

“Accommodation, security, traffic, management of the event - there are lots of things to take care of to be able to host the summit successfully,” said an official of the organizing committee. “It is a daunting task, but Korea was chosen to host because it is believed to be able to, so we will try to get things done.”


By Moon Gwang-lip [joe@joongang.co.kr]

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