Those back-slapping North Koreans by mattsteinglass
July 28, 2008, 9:54 am
Filed under: Korea, Vietnam

Very weird meeting between Vietnamese FM Pham Gia Khiem and North Korean FM Pak Ui-chun (“Park Ui Chun”? Not clear) on Saturday evening. The two of them smiled and hugged like a couple of ancient drinking buddies when they met, and you’d have thought they’d been roommates at Moskovskii Gosudarstvennii Universitet in 1973 or something. But they were speaking different languages and clearly neither spoke the other one’s, and when their comments were translated, they were completely banal. Not that this isn’t more or less the same as when other FMs meet each other, but this felt like they’d taken it up a notch. Perhaps the absence of substantive cooperation or agreement on anything means they need to ratchet up the meaningless geniality.


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