Tight Security in South Korea after Nuclear Test; Tension High for Regional Summit
Byline: JOHN ASHTON
SOUTH Korea imposed heavy security last night for a summit with south-east Asian leaders following North Korean nuclear and missile tests that frayed nerves across the region.
The summit venue of Seogwipo - on the island of Jeju off the southern coast - is the furthest city away from the North.
Still, a nervous South Korean government is taking no chances, positioning a surface-to-air missile outside the venue aimed towards the north.
Some 5,000 police officers, including about 200 commandos, and special vehicles that can analyse sarin gas and other chemicals has been deployed nearby, said Kim Soo-byung, a presidential security spokesman.
Leaders of the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations began arriving for the two-day summit, which officially begins today.
South Korean president Lee Myung-bak planned to use Sunday for individual meetings, including talks with Thai prime minister Abhisit Vejjajiva and ASEAN secretary general Surin Pitsuwan.
The summit, which is being held to commemorate 20 years of relations between South Korea and the bloc, has been in the works for months..
South Korea says it sees the meeting as an opportunity to raise its diplomatic profile and solidify economic ties with the region. …