May 15, 2012 09:12
President Lee Myung-bak has begun a visit to Burma, the first South Korean leader to do so in 29 years. The last time was President Chun Doo-hwan's trip in 1983 that was marred by a terrorist bombing by North Korean agents that killed 17 South Korean officials.
Lee's visit had been kept under wraps due to increasing threats from North Korea.
Lee arrives in Rangoon on Tuesday to meet opposition leader and Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi. He is to invite her to visit Korea. The two will hold a joint press conference after their meeting.
After trilateral talks with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda in Beijing on Sunday, Lee headed to Burma's new captital, Naypyidaw. He visited the presidential palace and met with President Thein Sein to urge him to end military cooperation with North Korea.
They also discussed Seoul's support for democratization and economic development in the junta-ruled country and cooperation between the two sides in developing natural resources, energy and infrastructure, according to Cheong Wa Dae.
Burma apparently promised to halt arms trading with North Korea.
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