October 06, 2010 12:42
The leaders of 48 countries attending the Asia Europe Meeting summit in Brussels on Tuesday expressed "deep concern" over North Korea's attack on the South Korean Navy corvette Cheonan.
The summit statement reconfirms support for the July 9 UN Security Council Resolution sanctioning the North over the attack. It also stresses the importance of preventing further attacks, recognizes South Korean efforts to provide humanitarian aid to the North, and supports regular reunions of families separated by the Korean War as proposed by Seoul.
This year's ASEM summit also adopted a declaration calling for more effective global economic governance. In relation to the G20 Summit scheduled for next month in Seoul, the declaration reads, "We encourage the G20, in close cooperation with the Financial Stability Board, to make as announced rapid progress with strengthening the resilience and the transparency of the financial system." It added, "In view of the strong growth in dynamic emerging markets and developing countries, we express support for the implementation of the IMF quota reform, by the G20 Summit of November this year, to adequately reflect the relative weight and responsibilities of the IMF members in the world economy."
Meanwhile, President Lee Myung-bak met with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao on the sidelines of the summit and asked China to push for reform and opening of North Korea.
Wen told Lee he felt that South Koreans misunderstood China since the Cheonan incident. "But China agreed to the Presidential Statement of the UN Security Council, and repeatedly expressed our condemnation against those who caused it," he said.
In response, Lee said it might appear Seoul is "obsessed" with the sinking, "but we believe it is necessary to go over this issue thoroughly so that it will never happen again in inter-Korean relations. I view Kim Jong-il's frequent visits to China positively. I would ask China to actively induce North Korea to follow the footsteps of China's opening and reforms for the sake of improving inter-Korean relations."
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