EDITORIAL; G-8 Summit in Okinawa

Korea Times (Seoul, Korea), July 21, 2000 | Go to article overview

EDITORIAL; G-8 Summit in Okinawa


Leaders of the world's eight most powerful nations will hold a three-day meeting starting today in Nago, Okinawa, to discuss a wide range of pending global issues ranging from ways to help further expedite dialogue between South and North Korea to means of blocking proliferation of AIDS and sharing information technology between rich and poor nations. The significance of the so-called G-8 summit lies in the fact that it will define the role of advanced nations to make the world better place to live in the 21st century.

The situation on the Korean peninsula will be a major topic to be extensively discussed by the leaders during the meeting. They have reportedly expressed whole-hearted support for the thawing mood between the two Koreas, touched off by the historic South-North summit in Pyongyang last month. The leaders of advanced nations are hoped to hold in-depth discussions on creating an environment conducive to establishing a peace on the peninsula that would have direct bearing on the stability and peace of Northeast Asia.

The government is required to pay keen attention to what is discussed by the leaders in the meeting on Korean affairs. South and North Korea are also hoped to further expand their mutual understanding, necessary to play a leading role in the creation of a lasting peace on the Korean peninsula without relying too much on other countries.

The leaders of the G-8 advanced countries will also grapple with international crime, particularly those involving cyber space, caring for aging societies in wealthy nations, ensuring food safety and protecting the environment. Arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation of missile and nuclear technology are also topics to be discussed in the Okinawa summit.

The upcoming annual meeting will also serve as a trial run of sorts, with leaders of developing nations getting a chance to talk to G-8 leaders to underscore their plight. For this purpose, South African President Thabo Mbeki and other leaders of developing countries were invited for a meeting with G-8 leaders before the summit. This will enable a direct consultation between the relevant parties on matters concerning debt relief for poor nations, lessening the widening IT gap between them as well as effective measures to combat the spread of AIDS. Particularly, the leaders of the advanced nations will try to bridge the so-called digital division resulting from the situation that people in rich countries easily attain access to the Internet whereas other poor nations do not yet have this capability. …

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