Firstly, sorry about the light posting — been a busy couple of days.
- Wanna read the 20-odd G20 Seoul Summit Leaders’ Declaration? Well, download it from here.
- Hey, say what you will about the results — or lack thereof — from the G20 summit, which is apparently the ’85 St. Louis Cardinals of major international summits, minus Jack Clark. At least it ended without a riot or the North Koreans doing something stupid, and they opened up Gyeongbokgung Palace for a couple of nights. And who knows — maybe the experience has helped boost Seoul’s international profile, which would be nice.
- Has Obama lost his mojo? That, I don’t know, but Heritage’s Bruce Klingner notes that Obama really blew it in Seoul. He writes, “The media repeatedly mischaracterized the trade discussions this week as close to achieving an agreement. Sorry, but the agreement was already reached—over three years ago when the United States and South Korea signed the completed document. But the Administration adopted North Korea’s (and Speaker Pelosi’s) negotiating strategy—no agreement is final, even after signature… Walking away from the KORUS will hurt U.S. economic recovery, strain relations with a key U.S. ally, and undermine American trade objectives—a true trifecta of failure.” Ozzie Smith wouldn’t have whiffed that badly, that’s for sure.
- On the sidelines of the summit, LMB’s meeting with French president Nicolas Sarkozy yielded an agreement to return on permanent loan the Joseon royal archives that were, ahem, borrowed by the French when they, ahem visited Ganghwa Island in 1866. Not everyone’s happy, as the agreement still recognizes French ownership. Still, it’s been a good month for cultural treasures, with the Japanese also agreeing to return old books taken from Korea during the colonial era.