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President Park has summit meetings visiting and inviting the Heads of State

For the promotion of understanding, cooperation, friendship

President Park has summit meetings visiting

and inviting the Heads of State

President Park Geun-hye meets with State Councilor Yang Jiechi of the People's Republic of China at Cheong Wa Dae. He is making an official visit to Seoul at the invitation of the Korean Government.

President Park Geun-hye appears to be very much interested in the promotion of understanding, cooperation and friendship with various countries of the world. For this purpose, she has visited many countries beginning with the United States, and held summit meetings with the Heads of State and Government.

She has also invited many Heads of State and other leaders of various countries of the world to visit the Republic of Korea for summit meetings and conclusion of important bilateral agreements for mutual benefit. Here are some of her recent activities:

President Park
Geun-hye meets Chinese state councilor

The President Meets with Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi
On Nov. 18, 2013, President Park Geun-hye met with State Councilor Yang Jiechi of the People's Republic of China at Cheong Wa Dae. He was making an official visit to Seoul at the invitation of the Korean Government.

President Park began by congratulating him on the recent success of the third plenary session of the 18th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC). She went on to say that she was pleased at the steady progress of Korea-China relations in a variety of areas since the launch of new Administrations in both countries at approximately the same time. She continued to express her satisfaction at the faithful implementation of follow-up measures to agreements reached during her visit to China this past June. President Park noted in particular that the two nations are working together to maximize the potential for bilateral cooperation, which is evidenced by today's start of the second-phase negotiations for a Korea-China FTA and the dialogue between State Councilor Yang Jiechi and Director of National Security Kim Jang-soo as well as tomorrow's inauguration of a joint committee for exchanges in the humanities.

State Councilor Yang said the purpose of his visit to Korea was to carry out what had been agreed upon between the leaders of the two nations. He took note of the fact that President Park's state visit to China in June marked a great milestone in bilateral ties, helping place them on a new, higher trajectory. In addition, he expressed appreciation to the President for taking note of the third plenary session of the 18th CPC Central Committee, which achieved a major outcome by agreeing to intensify the reform drive on all fronts.

After reading President Xi Jinping's message himself, the State Councilor passed it on to President Park. Through the message, the Chinese President extended greetings to President Park and expressed the hope that he would be able to visit Korea in the near future and that President Park would be able to attend the APEC summit to be held in Beijing next year. On top of this, President Xi gave high marks to the concept of trust-based diplomacy proposed by President Park.

In response, President Park said she looked forward to a visit by President Xi to Korea in the near future and said she would redouble efforts to work together to ensure the success of the APEC summit.

Concerning the installation of stone monuments commemorating the Korean patriotic martyr Ahn Jung-geun and the Korean Liberation Army in Xian, which was discussed during the summit between Korea and China last June, President Park expressed appreciation for the smooth implementation of the plan on the strength of bilateral cooperation. In response, the visiting State Councilor also expressed satisfaction over the fact that the plan is going forward without a hitch. The State Councilor also said that he looked forward to seeing expedited efforts for a bilateral FTA, to be concluded with a high-standard agreement of balanced benefits.

On the topic of North Korea, President Park noted that she and the Chinese President had expressed agreement on the principle of denuclearization of North Korea during her visit to China last June and at the Korea-China summit in October. Recalling the Korean proverb that "to see one is to know ten," the President said that the North must show itself trustworthy regarding such matters as family reunions and the key issues of passage, communications and customs clearance in order to be trusted on larger issues. She emphasized the need for North Korea to take genuine steps toward actual denuclearization.

Furthermore, President Park and State Councilor Yang concurred that if North Korea were to take the right path, this would benefit cooperative efforts for the advancement of Northeast Asia as well. The Chinese State Councilor continued by saying he welcomed the trust-building process on the Korean Peninsula and the Northeast Asian Peace and Cooperation Initiative and affirmed his strong support for the peaceful reunification of the Peninsula by the parties concerned themselves.

President Park Geun-hye (left) addresses the closing ceremony of the Korea-Russia Dialogue Forum where Russian President Vladimir Putin (right) is also present, in Seoul on Nov. 13. (Photo courtesy Cheong Wa Dae)

President Park sends condolences to the Philippine

President on typhoon damage
President Park Geun-hye sent a telegram of condolence to President Benigno Aquino III of the Philippines on Nov. 12, 2013 in connection with the loss of life and damage caused by the typhoon that hit the country on November 8.

Following is the full text of the condolence message.

It has been deeply saddening for me and for the people of Korea to hear about the heavy casualties and damage caused by Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda.

We extend our sincere condolences to you and to the people of the Philippines. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all of the families who have lost loved ones. I hope that the situation will be improved as soon as possible.

Korean, Russian leaders attend dialogue forum
President Park Geun-hye and Russian President Vladimir Putin attended the closing ceremony of the third Korea-Russia Dialogue Forum held in Seoul on Nov. 13, 2013.

The two leaders delivered closing speeches after being briefed about the key outcomes reached and agendas discussed at the "Korea-Russia cooperation ushering in the era of Eurasia" (unofficial translation) forum.

President Park emphasized that, "Korea and Russia are important partners for each other to achieve peace, stability and co-prosperity in Northeast Asia." She urged the two countries to play a pivotal role in making a "new era of Eurasia." She also expressed her hope that the Korea-Russia Dialogue Forum could play a bigger role in opening a Eurasian era by realizing the policy suggestions discussed at the forum. The agenda items discussed at the forum include security on the Korean Peninsula and in Northeast Asia, Korea-Russia cooperation in the creative industries, academic-industry cooperation, development projects in the Russian Far East and Siberia, creative industry cultural exchange, cooperation in media content and more active exchanges in culture and arts.

"Russia is strong in mineral resources while Korea holds strengths in electronics and machinery. The volume of bilateral trade depends on the related government ministries of both countries. For this reason, it is time to diversity such a trade system," said President Putin in his speech. He also proposed forming a cooperative structure for joint production in the shipbuilding sector, rather than just giving and receiving orders, while hoping that Korea's investment in industrial facilities in the Russian Far East would continue.

President Putin expressed his hope that Korea could actively take part in developing joint transport routes in the Asia-Pacific and Central Asian regions. "Considering the economic profit the two Koreas could gain through this project, we need to solve the political issues as soon as possible," said the Russian leader. "The foremost priority in Korea-Russia cooperation should be put on the high-tech sector. We also need to cooperate in the field of applied sciences by sharing our experiences and technology," said the Russian president. He also vowed to provide support for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) by making the most of their potential. He suggested that the two countries should collect ideas and projects to foster these firms which will play a key role in achieving economic growth.

President Park Geun-hye attends a ground-breaking ceremony for a Korean War memorial in the afternoon of Nov. 5, 2013 local time.

President Park attends

ground-breaking ceremony for Korean War Memorial
President Park Geun-hye, who is on a state visit to the United Kingdom, attended a ground-breaking ceremony for a Korean War memorial in the afternoon of Nov. 5, 2013 local time, following a welcoming ceremony and luncheon hosted by Queen Elizabeth II. After that, the President laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior.

On hand at the groundbreaking ceremony were a group of British Korean War veterans; Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge; Prince Richard, the Duke of Gloucester; the Lord-Lieutenant of Greater London Sir David William Brewer; Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Ministry of Defence John Astor and Minister of State at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office Hugo Swire. At the ceremony, President Park expressed special gratitude on behalf of the Korean people to the British Korean War veterans for their noble sacrifices and dedicated service contributing to safeguarding peace and liberal democracy in the Republic of Korea.

Among other things, the President pointed out that there had never been a Korean War memorial in the capital of the United Kingdom, despite the fact that the nation sent 56,000 troops to fight in the Korean War suffering significant casualties. Given this, President Park said that it was all the more meaningful to hold the groundbreaking ceremony for the memorial on the occasion of the 130th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties and 60th anniversary of the Korean War Armistice this year.

President Park also said that the memorial would become a symbol of the special bond between the two countries and the development of bilateral relations, and she expressed her deep gratitude to the members of the royal family and government officials who had shown great interest in the memorial project and supported it as it took shape. Afterwards, the President laid flowers at the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior, which honors the British soldiers who died during World War I.

President Park attends royal banquet
President Park Geun-hye attended a state banquet hosted by Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace in London on Nov. 5, 2013. The banquet was attended by over 140 people, including the Earl of Wessex Prince Edward and his spouse, Princess Anne and her spouse, the Duke of Gloucester Prince Richard, other members of the royal family, business leaders and influential figures across many sectors of the United Kingdom and high-ranking Korean government officials who were accompanying the president on her state visit to the U.K.

In her speech, the queen welcomed President Park's state visit to the country as this year marks the 130th anniversary of the Korea-U.K. diplomatic relationship. She said she is glad that the two countries share a true partnership. She also added that both countries cooperate together based on the bonds built by British soldiers who participated in the Korean War (1950-1953).

Mentioning the traditions of innovation and creativity as the United Kingdom's strengths and technological expertise and diligence as Korea's assets, the queen said both countries have been creating common profit by combining the strengths of each country. She expressed satisfaction in the close cooperation and exchanges in education, scientific research, tourism and culture between the two countries. The queen added that such cooperation plays a key role in developing the strategic partnership between the two nations.

In her reciprocal speech, President Park expressed her thanks to the queen for inviting her to make a state visit to Britain and said her visit holds significance since this year marks the 130th anniversary of the establishment of Korea-U.K. diplomatic relations and the 60th anniversary of the armistice of the Korean War. The president highly valued the pivotal role of the British royal family which has shown its great responsibility for the country. The president said the U.K. is one of Korea's true allies, as the country dispatched 56,000 soldiers to protect the freedom of Korea 60 years ago and became the first country to send a group of investors to Korea 15 years ago in the midst of the Asian financial crisis. This support has contributed greatly to Korea's transformation into the world's eighth largest trading economy with a dynamic democracy, said the president.

President Park emphasized that bilateral cooperation should be extended based on the trust and friendship of both countries. She also expressed her hope that Korea's creative economy policy and the UK's experience in leading many creative industries with its tradition and long history can be combined to create new engines of growth. Quoting William Shakespeare, "It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves," the president expressed her hope that the two countries could have a more prosperous, happier future by combining their creative talents and experience based on the 130-year-long friendship and trust of both nations.

President Park Geun-hye attends a Korean drama party organized by Bonjour Coree, a Korean Wave (Hallyu) fan club in France.

President Park meets with the UNESCO director-general
President Park Geun-hye met with UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova on Nov. 3, 2013 local time at a hotel where she stayed during her visit to France. At their meeting, they discussed the overall aspects of mutually beneficial cooperation between Korea and UNESCO, which has grown in various areas such as education, culture and science since Korea became a member in 1950.

President Park congratulated Director-General Bokova on her reelection at the UNESCO Executive Council meeting held this past October. Quoting a passage from the preface of the UNESCO Constitution, "Since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defences of peace must be constructed," the President said she could fully relate to UNESCO's ideal of establishing world peace by promoting understanding of different cultures as well as intellectual exchanges and education.

She continued to explain that one of the administrative priorities of the Korean Government is cultural enrichment and that UNESCO is regarded as a good working partner in that the organization has contributed to the peace and wellbeing of all peoples around the world through its dedicated endeavors. She also expressed the hope that close cooperation would continue into the future.

Anticipating that the mutually beneficial relations Korea and UNESCO have so far fostered would further progress in a future-oriented manner, President Park expressed the hope that the Director-General would take interest in and provide support for the smooth implementation of various Korea-UNESCO cooperative projects with regards to education and world heritage.

Director-General Bokova noted that UNESCO and Korea were closely affiliated in a variety of areas, upholding shared values and agenda. Having gone through a war itself, Korea had a profound understanding of the value of peace, the Director-General added. Saying that she was born in the same year as President Park, the Director-General noted that she felt a special sense of responsibility for world peace and sustainable growth.

As the head of the organization prioritizing the preservation of cultural assets, the culture industry, culture and progress, the Director-General said that she was pleased that President Park usually emphasized the importance of the tangible and intangible cultural heritage.

Notably, the Director-General touted Korea's endeavors as a fine example: With great interest in preserving traditional culture, it strives to create new job opportunities and promote social cohesion and economic growth by modernizing its culture and combining culture with industries as well as to further enrich creativity in various areas, including architecture and design.

President Park visits with French fans of Korean dramas
Held at the Espace Pierre Cardin overlooking the Champs-Elysees, one of the best-known tourist attractions in Paris, the event was filled with a variety of programs, including performances by K-pop contest winners.

The party participants, who had made reservations through the Facebook page of Bonjour Coree, waited in a long line for 30 minutes ahead of the opening to get better seats to enjoy the event. All 670 seats of the theater were occupied with enthusiastic fans, which vividly testified to the popularity of Korean dramas in France.

In France, TV channels such as Gong and KZTV air Korean dramas, and people also can watch them online at www.dramapassion.com for free.

Following the meeting with six leading members of the fan club, President Park took a seat in the audience to enjoy the spirited singing of the theme song of Moon Embracing the Sun by the winner of the 2013 K-pop contest in France and the performance of the dancing team which won the second prize in the dance category.

Among other things, the event was emceed by Adrien Lee, a Korean MC for the television network Arirang TV, adding to excitement. He has become a familiar face to France's Hallyu fans through his frequent appearances on Arirang TV and YouTube, which have helped him to garner popularity among locals that rivals that of idol groups.

The organization behind the day's event, Bonjour Coree, was formed as a kind of follow-up group to the French Hallyu fan club Korean Connection, which partnered with entertainment company SM to arrange the SM Town Concert in Paris in June 2011 that helped to spark K-pop’s popularity within Europe and launch the Hallyu boom in France. Created by Hallyu fans seeking a less commercialized and less K-pop-centered experience of Korean culture, Bonjour Coree has made efforts to promote Korean culture in all of the diversity of its many genres. k

이경식 기자  edt@koreapost.com

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