Sunday, November 14, 2010

G20 Seoul Summit 2010

G20 Seoul Summit 2010The G20 summit was held in Seoul on Thursday and Friday. It was impossible to miss; people were already talking about the G20 summit when I moved here TWO years ago. This was the first G20 summit held in an Asian country, and Koreans were proud to be the hosting country. The past few weeks have practically been an onslaught of information about the G20. Every bus had an advertisement about the summit, every time I turned on the TV (which, admittedly wasn't often) the news was running a feature about the G20 and major Western news publications were talking about Korea, a rarity. My students were even interested, and amidst Thursday's chatter about Pepero, I heard more than one mention of Obama and the G20.

Despite large-scale protests before the summit and the US State Department issuing a traveling warning for Seoul, the G20 Seoul Summit was relatively peaceful. On Thursday night, I went to Iteawon, the major foreign district in Seoul, and while there were special G20 police in the subways and troops of police wearing riot armor patrolling the streets and guarding the subway exits, I had no problems and didn't see any protesters. I'm glad the G20 summit is over, that it went off smoothly and that Korea got some positive attention from the rest of the world.

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