NATIONAL

Seoul prepares for nuclear summit

By Korea Herald
  • Published : Feb 23, 2012 - 14:44
  • Updated : Mar 22, 2012 - 14:18

With the Seoul Nuclear Security Summit a month away, the South Korean government’s preparation for the success of the meeting to enhance cooperation against nuclear terrorism is in full swing.

The summit preparatory secretariat, led by Foreign Minister Kim Sung-hwan, said Thursday that top leaders from 53 countries and four international organizations will attend the summit to be held on March 26-27 at COEX in southern Seoul. The second meeting after the inaugural 2010 Washington Nuclear Security Summit is the largest-ever diplomatic conference in Korea.

Six new countries ― Denmark, Gabon, Hungary, Lithuania, Romania and Azerbaijan ― and one more international organization Interpol have decided to attend the meeting, it said.

Top leaders scheduled to visit Seoul for the summit include U.S. President Barack Obama, Chinese President Hu Jintao and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

While sherpas representing each country have agreed on most of the content of the Seoul Communique during the third sherpas’ meeting in India in January, they will have a meeting on March 23 in Seoul to finalize the outcome document to be announced at the end of the summit, the organizer said.

The Seoul Communique is expected to include detailed action plans to minimize the possession and use of highly-enriched uranium and plutonium, strengthen the protection of nuclear facilities and deter illegal trading of nuclear materials, it said.

One of the new topics during the upcoming Seoul summit will be how to prevent terrorist groups from accessing radioactive materials that can be used to make crude nuclear bombs, dubbed “dirty bombs,” the organizer said.

For smooth communication among leaders, more than 50 top-level seasoned interpreters will provide interpretation services in 18 languages.

State heads arriving in Seoul will be escorted in Hyundai Equus, a full-size high-end sedan made by Korea’s Hyundai Motor, and their spouses and ministers, BMW 740Li and GT30d, respectively, the organizer said.

For the press, the media center will accommodate 4,000 local reporters and correspondents who will have access to 11 language services.

By Kim Yoon-mi (yoonmi@heraldcorp.com)