No State Guest House, No Kim Jong Il Visit?
Most countries have an official state “guest house,” where they put up official state guests, diplomats and world leaders while ensuring high standards of comfort and security. For instance, Beijing has the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse (Chinese/English), famous as the sit of the Six Party Talks. Washington D.C. has Blair House. Even Pyongyang has the Baekhwawon.
Generally, visiting foreign dignitaries in Seoul stay at one of the city’s many fine five star establishments. However, Yonhap raises the possibility that Seoul’s lack of an official guest house and the high levels of security that come with it, might be unsatisfactory for the ultra-security conscious, paranoid Kim Jong Il, and might thus prevent his visit to Seoul. (as though that would be the only thing!).
Apparantly, according to Yonhap, there is serious consideration to turn the Samcheongak, a former Kisaeng House near Gyeongbokgung, into such a facility.