Power politics in South Korea


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It was President Obama’s first visit to the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea, a weekend stop before he joined more than 50 other world leaders in a nuclear security summit meeting.  Mr. Obama asked North Korea to stop its plans to launch a satellite next month.  Also Monday, South Korea warned the North against rocket tests.  Concerns about North Korea and Iran are expected to dominate the talks.
In Seoul, Mr. Obama’s private statements to Russian President Dmitri Medvedev were inadvertently caught on camera Monday.  President Obama was overheard asking for “space” on missile defense issues.  He then says it would be better to wait after elections.  “After my election, I have more flexibility,” he said.  
Full quote:

President Obama: On all these issues, but particularly missile defense, this, this can be solved but it’s important for him to give me space.

President Medvedev: Yeah, I understand. I understand your message about space. Space for you…

President Obama: This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility.

President Medvedev: I understand. I will transmit this information to Vladimir.


Read more about the Koreas on the New York Times

Read more and watch the overheard remarks on Foreign Policy.

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