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Burma Refuses Visa Request From Former S. Korean President


Burma's military led-government has refused to issue a visa to Nobel Peace laureate and former South Korean president Kim Dae-jung.

Aides to Mr. Kim say Burma's embassy in Seoul rejected his request for a visa and refused to even accept his application. Embassy officials said Mr. Kim's request to visit pro-democracy leader and fellow Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi was an attempt to interfere in Burma's internal affairs.

Mr. Kim is one of 12 Nobel laureates who will submit visa applications at Burmese embassies around the globe Friday.

In Washington D.C., Nobel laureates Jody Williams (US, 1997) and Shirin Ebadi (Iran, 2003) joined others to protest outside the Burmese embassy demanding the release of political prisoners. They also urged the United Nations Security Council to pass a resolution on Burma.

Last month, a draft resolution on Burma surfaced in the Security Council. The resolution calls on Burma's military rulers to take steps to improve human rights conditions and to release Aung San Su Kyi and some 11,00 other political prisoners.

Aung San Su Kyi has spent more than half of the past 17 years under house arrest. The military refused to recognize the general election victory of her party in 1990.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.