The G-20 Summit officially kicked off in London at the Excel Center Thursday morning as they world held its breath in anticpation of a plan to alleviate the worst global economic crisis in decades.
President Barack Obama met with South Korea's President Lee Myung-bak prior to a breakfast with other world leaders hosted by British Prime Minister Gordon Brown. According to pool reports, Obama was all smiles, appearing in good spirits prior to what many speculate could be contentious talks between the Obama and his counterparts from France and Germany.
The ExCel Center is a veritable fortress today, keeping away the sort largescale protest that took place Wednesday near the Bank of England. There is a wide perimeter around the meeting place, and the closest mass transit points near the hall on the outskirts of London have been shut down.
For now, the tensions inside the building are the focus of the world. The French and Germans are insisting on regulatory changes to the global financial system, hoping to prevent banks playing fast and loose from driving the world into another major crisis. Meanwhile, the US is looking for the European Union nations to boost spending in effort to stimulate a consumer-led recovery.
Thursday morning, Obama admitted that the US bears some responsiblity for the financial crisis due to the breakdown of regulation of the banking system, but continued to press for major economies to boost stimulative spending.
Obama's meeting with South Korea's president took place amid reports that North Korea plans to test a long-range rocket. According to reports, South Korean presidential said Obama and Lee agreed on the need for a stern, united response if North Korea proceeds with the launch. On Wednesday, a Unites States official reportedly said that the US will respond to any North Korean missile launch by raising the matter in the U.N. Security Council.
Obama will visit Russia and China later this year, the White House said on Wednesday after Obama met with the leaders of both countries ahead of the G20 economic summit in London.
After meeting Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in person for the first time, Obama said that he accepted an invitation to visit Russia in July to revisit the issue of nuclear warhead arsenals, among other subjects
Obama is schedule to meet with the press Thursday afternoon following the release of the official communique from the G20 meeting. CNBC reported Thursday morning that Reuters has obtained a draft of the communique. The draft reportedly states that world leaders will promise form a new oversight board to monitor the global financial system also regulate major hedge funds for the first time.
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