President Park Geun-hye is receiving special treatment from G20 summit host Russia.
On September 6, President Park followed Russian President Vladimir Putin’s speech to make the lead speech. Russia strongly requested President Park to give the lead speech, as Korea is continuing with a solid growth rate in the face of the global financial crisis and the US Federal Reserve’s remarks on the possibility of bond purchase reductions, while many other emerging economies are seeing foreign capital flow out.
After a successful summit with US President Barack Obama in May and Chinese Head of State Xi Jinping in June, President Park has received numerous requests for bilateral talks.
“President Park aims for diplomacy based on principle and trust, as well as resources diplomacy. She has received requests for bilateral talks from numerous heads of state. However, due to tight schedule in the G20 summit, we had to limit the bilateral talks to Russia, Italy, Germany, and Kazakhstan,” said a Blue House official.
President Putin’s special treatment is noteworthy. In order to secure enough time for the bilateral talks with President Park, President Putin requested to meet after the G20 summit. Rather than meeting during the G20 summit where the time schedule is tight and talks end up being a formality, President Putin wished to take time to talk about political and security issues such as North Korean denuclearization, six-party talks, the trust process in the Korean peninsula, economic cooperation in social overhead capital (SOC) investments, and the gas pipe and railway businesses.
Russian news channel Russia TV 24’s broadcasting of the interview with ITAR-TASS was also unconventional. Among the 19 heads of state attending the G20 summit, excluding President Putin, President Park was the only one who got a 20-minute feature aired. The other heads of state and leaders in international organizations were briefly included in a 23-minute group video, with two to three minutes allotted to each person.