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11-13-2005, 04:49 PM
Bush May Stay in US Aircraft Carrier


By Jung Sung-ki
Staff Reporter

PUSAN _ U.S President George W. Bush may stay in the U.S. aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk, which arrived in the port of Pusan (Busan) for military exercises, while attending the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum in Pusan, sources said Sunday.

Bush will arrive in South Korea Wednesday, one day ahead of the scheduled summit with President Roh Moo-hyun in the southeastern city of Kyongju, a U.S. Embassy official said.

Washington has kept secret where Bush will stay during the global meeting, fearing potential terrorist attacks against the U.S. president.

Earlier yesterday, the USS Kitty Hawk from Yokosuka, Japan, arrived at Pusan with about 5,200 sailors and 60 aircraft, including F-18 Super Hornets, for a joint military exercise training between South Korea and the U.S. planned to start next week. But there are speculations that Bush will stay in the advanced aircraft carrier.

Officials at the United States Forces Korea (USFK) declined to comment on the issue, citing security concerns.

``I don’t see any relation between the aircraft carrier’s arrival and Bush’s location. Actually I don’t have information on that,’’ a USFK official said on condition of anonymity.

Bush had stayed in the US aircraft carrier USS Enterprise during a G-8 summit in Italy in 2001.

The U.S. president is scheduled to arrive at Pusan’s Kimhae International Airport. Bush and Roh will meet in Kyongju Thursday to discuss issues of mutual concern, including the North Korean nuclear programs.

Bush is also expected to meet some Southeast Asian leaders on the sidelines of the APEC summit, according to Vietnam's APEC delegates. Bush will meet with seven heads of state from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), who will be in South Korea for the APEC forum, the delegates said.

Before coming to South Korea, Bush will meet Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi in Kyoto, Japan. From South Korea, he will travel to China and Mongolia.