Seoul Rehearses Handling of World Leaders

      March 23, 2012 13:14

      A rehearsal was held in Seoul on Monday night to escort 58 leaders and representatives of the world from 53 countries and four international organizations who will be attending the Nuclear Security Summit. The summit is on Monday and Tuesday next week and will attract over 10,000 people including press from all around the world.

      Some 360 cars will be used for protocol -- Hyundai Equus limousines for heads of states, and BMWs for their entourage and other delegates. The challenge for the protocol team is to get them to arrive at exactly one-minute intervals. If there is a delay of even a few seconds, the tightly scheduled plan of action could be thrown out of whack.

      With the Nuclear Summit just four days ahead, President Lee Myung-bak visits the summit venue COEX to check the preparations on Thursday.

      The organizing committee has devised 58 scenarios scheduled down to the second for the heads of state, who will stay in 12 five-star hotels in central Seoul. The task required the work force of no fewer than 116 diplomatic liaison officers.

      Another challenge is to put the heads of state in order. Already there are said to have been wrangling among embassies in Seoul to get their head of state in a higher position. Given diplomatic practices, the order is set as follows: heads of sovereign states, high-level ministerial officials of sovereign states, and chief representatives of international organizations. Based on this, the first person to appear is likely to be Interpol Secretary General Ronald Noble, whose standing is the lowest.

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