Seoul Sending Envoy To Nobel Event.
Korea’s government has decided to attend a ceremony to award this year’s Nobel Peace Prize to a jailed Chinese dissident later this week, a diplomatic source said yesterday, despite China’s opposition to countries supporting the honoree. Please read the article in the Korea JoongAng Daily here:
China’s protest against the decision to give the prize to dissident Liu Xiaobo had put Korea in a diplomatic quandary over whether to attend the Dec. 10 ceremony in Oslo, Norway, amid concern that the move could have negative effects on relations with Beijing.
The conundrum demonstrated China’s rising influence in the region. China is South Korea’s No. 1 trade partner and a key neighbor that hosts the six-party talks on ending North Korea’s nuclear programs.
Despite the concerns, however, South Korea has decided to stick to its past practice of sending its diplomat stationed in Norway to attend the event, the source said on condition of anonymity. “It is our basic position that we respect the Nobel Committee’s decision,” foreign ministry spokesman Kim Young-sun said during a press briefing earlier in the day. “The South Korean government will follow past practices regarding the award ceremony.”