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Last Updated: Thursday, 9 August 2007, 14:28 GMT 15:28 UK
Press divided over Korean talks prospects
File photos of South Korean President Roh Moo-Hyun (L) and North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il
The summit will be the first in seven years between the nations

The news that North and South Korean leaders are to hold a summit at the end of the month brings mixed reactions from newspapers in the region and beyond.

Some titles feel the meeting will promote peace between the two states, which remain technically at war.

But others are critical of the timing of the summit, which they feel is politically motivated.

Lee Byong-chul in Seoul's Korea Times

Surely good news, since it would likely speed up the ongoing reconciliation process over the North Korea's nuclear weapons program, igniting the debate for a peace regime on the Korean peninsula.

Editorial in Seoul's Dong-A Ilbo

We hope the summit will make solid progress... Kim Jong-il should make it clear that he is determined to dismantle his country's nuclear weapons programme... National pride will be clearly damaged if President Roh fails to discuss the nuclear issue and produce a visible result... Worrisome that the summit will fizzle out to be a mere photo opportunity.

Editorial in Seoul's Korea Herald

Flawed in many ways... Setting the agenda will not be easy, given North Korea's habitual nitpicking in negotiations... Kim Jong-il ignored diplomatic protocol when he had his way in selecting Pyongyang as the venue for the summit... Timing is also problematic... only four months remain until the 19 December [South Korean] presidential election.

Editorial in Seoul's Chosun Ilbo

North Korea... may think of this summit as another means of opening a path to the US... South Korea may risk seeing itself relegated to a supporting role. If that happens, then this summit would merely be a venue for lip service to the grand unity of the Korean people, while all South Korea ends up with is a huge bill.

Shinichi Hirano in Tokyo's Daily Yomiuri

South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun and North Korean leader Kim Jong-il agreed to hold a summit meeting this month because they have something in common: concern about the South's presidential election in December... Roh needs a show-stopping move to turn the tables... Kim, on the other hand, wants to see the former ruling camp, which has adopted a reconciliatory approach towards Pyongyang, stay in power.

Greg Torode in Hong Kong's South China Morning Post

The summit... may ease tensions and help drag the North into the modern world... [It] comes amid guarded optimism in Seoul after Pyongyang's move last month to shut its Yongbyon nuclear reactor.

Georgiy Bulychev in Moscow's Vremya Novostey

The upcoming summit in Pyongyang meets Russian interests. Moscow's consistent position has been to encourage the process of national reconciliation and inter-Korean co-operation and an easing of tensions in north-east Asia.

Editorial in Moscow's Kommersant

Most analysts are taking a very sceptical view of the forthcoming summit. Experts are confident that the talks at the end of August, which Seoul insists 'will give a kick-start to settlement of the North Korean nuclear problem', will not bring any genuine progress in this area.

BBC Monitoring selects and translates news from radio, television, press, news agencies and the internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages. It is based in Caversham, UK, and has several bureaux abroad.



SEE ALSO
Korea summit to aid nuclear issue
09 Aug 07 |  Asia-Pacific
In quotes: Koreas summit reaction
08 Aug 07 |  Asia-Pacific

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