GNP leader to visit U.S., plans to meet with officialsChoe Byung-yul, chairman of the opposition Grand National Party, leaves for an eight-day visit to the United States beginning Saturday. He will stop in Washington and New York.
“The visit is to restore the shaky relations between South Korea and the United States, and to seek a peaceful resolution to the North Korean nuclear program,” said Park Jin, the party’s spokesman.
In Washington, Mr. Choe will give a speech at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank. Mr. Choe is expected to express regret for last month’s violent protests and burning of U.S. flags by a radical student group, Hanchongryun, at a U.S. military firing range in South Korea. He is also expected to say that the mainstream in Korea actively supports the strengthening of the Seoul-Washington alliance.
Mr. Choe will also meet with U.S. government and congressional officials, including Paul Wolfowitz, deputy defense secretary, and Assistant Secretary of State James Kelly, who was the top U.S. negotiator at the six-nation talks on the North Korean nuclear problem held in Beijing last month.
In New York, he is scheduled to tour ground zero, the site of the World Trade Center that was destroyed in the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
by Nam Jeong-ho
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