Feb 25, 2008

New President For The ROK

The reason that Winston Peters is able to avoid the media right now is the inauguration of a new President in the Republic of Korea. Korea was one of Winston's first ports of call as Foreign Minister. We can't recall the reason for the visit (either APEC or something ASEAN plus) but Winston found a flaw in the MFAT minder system. He was dropped of at a Foreign Minister only dinner (all the Foreign Ministers from our most important partners in the room to discuss key issues around Asia-Pacific security etc.) by a junior MFAT officer, who foolishly assumed that Winston would stay the distance and be in the room for the alloted 2 hours. The Australians are less trusting of their Ministers so left a junior officer at the venue when they dropped their Minister off. Much to the surprise if the junior Australian who had sensibly retreated to the bar, 15 minutes after this important dinner started Winston Peters emerges from the dining room and comes into the bar. He orders himself a drink (first of several) and spends the next hour and three quarters talking and drinking with the DFAT officer (until it was time to go). The young DFAT officer had never experienced anything like this in his system, but his verdict was that his New Zealand counterparts were very lucky having such a decent bloke as Minister of Foreign Affairs. It is good to know that New Zealand was so well represented at this dinner.

But the above is to digress.

Stef at the Ex-Expat has written another good piece looking at the ROK's sunshine policy.