Korean President Lee to Visit Washington for Summit with U.S. President Bush

Korean President Lee Myung-bak is scheduled to visit the U.S. from April 15 to 19 for a Camp David summit with U.S. President George W. Bush, the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae said Wednesday (March 12).

On his way back home, Lee will visit Japan April 20 to 21 for summit talks with Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda, said Cheong Wa Dae.

"Bush’s invitation of Lee to his mountain retreat Camp David reflects his personal trust towards Lee. The summit is expected to help upgrade bilateral relations to a higher level," presidential spokesperson Lee Dong-kwan said in a press briefing.

"At talks with Bush, Lee will propose value alliance and seek future-oriented strategic partnership with the U.S. Lee will go on to engage in sales diplomacy through his meeting with American business leaders at a Korea roadshow in New York and a visit to the New York Stock Exchange," said the spokesperson.

Lee, who chose the U.S. as his first overseas destination after taking office on Feb. 25, will be the first Korean president to go to Camp David, an American presidential retreat since 1942.

A Camp David summit symbolizes an especially close relationship between the U.S. and the nation of the invited leader.

"Lee will arrive in Tokyo on the afternoon of April 20 for a summit with Fukuda. They will discuss ways to promote bilateral relations, resume shuttle diplomacy and strengthen two-way cooperation in environment, energy and other global issues," said the spokesperson.

"Lee will also meet with Japanese business leaders to present ways to enhance practical bilateral cooperation."

He noted that as part of Seoul’s effort to seek balanced diplomacy with regional powers, Lee will also visit China and Russia in the near future.

According to the spokesperson, President Lee instructed that the number of his delegation to the U.S. and Japan be minimized in line with his beliefs about pragmatic diplomacy.

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Dunamic-Korea.com  (Posted 3/29/08)