South Korean President Lee Myung-bak has said that the Iranian and North Korean nuclear standoffs are not on the agenda of the Nuclear Security Summit his country is hosting next month.
Lee made the remark during a visit on Monday to the organizing committee of the March 26-27 summit which is expected to draw about 50 world leaders, including U.S. President Barack Obama, to discuss plans to bolster international safeguards and prevent nuclear terrorism.
Obama hosted the first summit in 2010. Other leaders expected to attend the upcoming summit include Chinese President Hu Jintao and his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev.
North Korea sees the gathering as part of Seoul's attempt to increase international pressure over its nuclear ambitions. Last week, the nuclear-armed Communist State denounced the summit as "an unpardonable crime" and "an intolerable grave provocation" against it.
"The Iranian and North Korean nuclear issues are not among the main topics for this meeting, though some countries may issue statements or make remarks," Lee was quoted by the Yonhap news agency as saying.
He claimed that his country's hosting of the event was meaningful because it was under "direct nuclear threats" from across the border, and the North Korean nuclear issue had become a global problem.
"Unlike other international events, this is for the sake of humankind and peace. This is related to every member of the six billion global population," Lee said.
He made the case for atomic power, saying that South Korea had become on par with other global nuclear energy powers like Japan, France, Russia and the United States in nuclear technologies. "Atomic power plants cannot but play a central role until renewable energy technologies become economically feasible and used more widely," he said.
by RTT Staff Writer
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