South Korean leader Lee Myung-bak makes historic visit


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The Independent Online

Security was stepped up in Burma yesterday for the first visit by a South Korean leader since an assassination attempt by North Korean agents almost 30 years ago. President Lee Myung-bak arrived for a two-day trip, flying into the capital, Naypyidaw, for a meeting with President Thein Sein. They will discuss economic ties between the two countries and support for Mr Sein's recent reforms. Reports suggest President Lee will today visit Rangoon and the Martyrs' Mausoleum where the then South Korean President, Chun Doo-hwan, escaped an assassination attempt by North Korean agents in 1983. Mr Chun had been due to lay a wreath to Burma's independence hero Aung San, the father of Aung San Suu Kyi, but was not there when a bomb went off because he was delayed in traffic. Seventeen South Koreans, including three cabinet ministers, were killed. Three North Korean agents were caught. One blew himself up as he was arrested, a second was hanged and a third died in prison.