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South Korea to Build Stronger Ties with Japan


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From the articles written, one can conclude that the real reason is North Korea.




U.S. to send delegation to meet close aides of S. Korean president-elect next month





WASHINGTON, Dec. 19 (Yonhap) -- The United States plans to send a delegation to South Korea early next month to establish ties with President-elect Lee Myung-bak's transition team, officials here said Wednesday.


South Korea, in turn, will send a group of working-level members of the transition team to Washington later in January, they said.


The conservative opposition party candidate won the South Korean presidential election by a landslide Wednesday on campaign pledges of less generous dealings with nuclear-armed North Korea, closer ties with the United States and business-friendly policies to help boost South Korea's sagging economy.

The officials also said the U.S. is most likely to have George H. W. Bush, father of current President George W. Bush and a former president himself, lead its delegation that will attend Lee's inauguration on Feb. 25 in Seoul.


Both President Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice are scheduled to travel to Africa at that time, and Vice President Dick Cheney needs to be in Washington during the president's absence.


"We would like to start engaging the close members to President-elect Lee Myung-bak," said one official who deals closely with Korean affairs, speaking on condition of anonymity. The U.S. delegation would be comprised mainly of deputy assistant secretary-level officials from the defense, state and commerce departments, he said.


The idea is to set up a network as soon as possible and start working immediately on both short and long-term bilateral issues, according to the official.


The initial plan was to invite the South Korean transition team to Washington, but the U.S. decided to send its delegation first to directly engage more senior aides to Lee, the official said. Seoul had explained that its team going to the U.S. would be more working-level, he said.









Rice expected to visit Japan in late February

Thursday, January 17, 2008 at 06:54 EST

WASHINGTON — U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is expected to visit Japan in late February to hold talks with Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda and Foreign Minister Masahiko Komura, sources close to U.S.-Japan relations said Wednesday.

Rice and the Japanese government leaders are expected to discuss North Korea's denuclearization and the realignment of U.S. forces in Japan. Rice is scheduled to visit South Korea to attend President-elect Lee Myung Bank's inauguration ceremony slated for Feb 25. Arrangements are now being made for her to visit Japan and China as well on that occasion, the sources said.







Japan, S Korea to build new ties

Wednesday, January 16, 2008 at 06:52 EST

TOKYO — South Korean President-elect Lee Myung Bak's special envoy Lee Sang Deuk and Japanese Foreign Minister Masahiko Komura agreed Tuesday to build "new Japan-South Korea relations" and resume annual reciprocal visits by the two countries' leaders soon, Komura said.

"The Feb 21 presidential inauguration ceremony would provide one possibility," Komura said when asked by reporters to specify when the shuttle diplomacy will restart. "The president-elect has also said he wants to visit Japan soon."

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