High security for first visit to Burma by South Korean leader since 1983 assassination attempt

 

Security was stepped up in Burma yesterday for the first visit to the country by a South Korean leader since an assassination attempt by North Korean agents in Rangoon almost 30 years ago.

President Lee Myung-Bak arrived in the country for a two-day trip, flying into the capital, Naypyidaw, for a meeting and dinner with President Thein Sein. The trip is being held to discuss developing economic ties between the two countries and support Mr Sein’s recent raft of reforms.

Reports suggest that the president will today visit Rangoon and the Martyrs’ Mausoleum where the then South Korean president Chun Doo-Hwan narrowly escaped an attempt on his life by North Korean agents in 1983. The president was saved from the bomb blast because he was delayed in traffic as he made his way to the event to commemorate Burma’s independence hero Aung San, the father of pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi. However, 17 South Koreans, including three cabinet ministers, along with four Burmese people, were killed in the blast.

Three North Korean agents were arrested for the attack. One blew himself up while being arrested, a second was hanged in jail and a third died inside Rangoon’s Insein Prison in 2008. Burma’s military junta had enjoyed close links to North Korea, although officials always denied they were seeking to develop a nuclear weapon. Following the 1983 blast, diplomatic ties between the two countries were officially put on hold until 2007.

“[The South Koreans] are very concerned for the security here because of their past experience in our country,” an unidentified Burmese official told the Agence France-Presse ahead of the visit, which was only announced by Seoul a few hours before Mr Lee’s arrival.

South Korea has recently been pushing to invest in Burma. In December 2008, at a time when Aung San Suu Kyi was still under house arrest and hundreds of other political prisoners were behind bars, Burma signed a deal with the South Korean companies Daewoo International and the Korea Gas Corporation, as well as Indian firms, to pipe natural gas from off the western state of Rakhine to China.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Account Manager

£20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This full service social media ...

Recruitment Genius: Data Analyst - Online Marketing

£24000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We are 'Changemakers in retail'...

Austen Lloyd: Senior Residential Conveyancer

Very Competitive: Austen Lloyd: Senior Conveyancer - South West We are see...

Austen Lloyd: Residential / Commercial Property Solicitor

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: DORSET MARKET TOWN - SENIOR PROPERTY SOLICITOR...

Day In a Page

Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there