Security was tightened before South Korea President Lee Myung-Bak’s visit to Myanmar on Monday, the first since an assassination attempt by North Korean agents in Yangon in 1983.
The two-day trip is aimed to promote economic ties and encourage recent political reforms in the country, that have allowed Aung San Suu Kyi’s election to parliament. Lee is expected in Naypyidaw for a meeting and dinner with President Thein Sein.
He will travel to Yangon on Tuesday to visit Martyr’s Mausoleum, where former president Chun Doo-Hwan narrowly escaped the bomb that killed 17 South Koreans and 4 Myanmar nationals, after being delayed in traffic.
Myanmar has had military links with North Korea in the past, a fact South Korea brushed off, saying that the country is too poor too acquire nuclear weapons. Lee’s visit is aimed to support Myanmar’s efforts on reform and opening up. South Korean companies are also pursuing deals with Myanmar.