President sends condolences to plane crash families
President Park Geun-hye sent messages of condolence to Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak and to Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte on July 19 concerning the July 17 downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17.
In the message to the Malaysian leader, President Park expressed her deep sadness for the many lives lost in the plane crash. She expressed her condolences and sympathy for the victims and members of the bereaved families. The president hoped that in the near future the Malaysian people will be able to overcome this shock and sadness.
In her message to the prime minister of the Netherlands, President Park expressed her sadness that the plane crash claimed many Dutch lives. The president expressed her heartfelt condolences and deep sympathy for the victims, members of their bereaved families and for the Dutch people. She also hoped that the Netherlands will be able to overcome the shock and sadness of the accident in the near future.
President visits Incheon AG organizing committee, food outlet
President Park Geun-hye reviewed the overall preparation of the upcoming Incheon Asian Games 2014 at a meeting on July 11. She later visited a local food outlet in Gimpo City, Gyeonggi-do (Gyeonggi Province).
During a meeting with the Incheon Asian Games organizing committee, President Park said, “A very small safety accident can leave a big blot even if the games are hosted successfully. We need to do our best to maintain watertight security for multiuse facilities during the Incheon Asian Games 2014.”
About 70 days are left until the opening of the upcoming Incheon Asian Games 2014, which will take place for 16 days from September 19 to October 4 in Incheon.
Later that day, President Park visited a local food outlet in Gimpo City, Gyeonggi Province. There she discussed ways to advance the distribution structure of agricultural food products with the outlet staff and farmers.
President Park looked around the direct trade and automation facilities used for agricultural food products. She said, “Freshness holds the key to competitiveness which wins consumers’ trust.” The president highly valued the improved system, which streamlined the distribution procedure to supply food products at a more affordable price to consumers.
President Park said, “I believe the farming industry holds a strong possibility to become one of the leading exports, future-looking industries. The government will foster the industry by providing the necessary support.” She also delivered words of encouragement to farmers who pack their own agricultural food products, “Such a system will win consumers’ trust as it will provide information about the farms that produce the products.”
President meets with judges from international courts
President Park Geun-hye met with influential figures from international courts at Cheong Wa Dae on July 9. During the meeting, she urged that an interest in the human rights issues of North Korean people be taken.
The meeting attendees included David Scheffer, the UN Secretary-General`s Special Expert on United Nations Assistance to the Khmer Rouge Trials, Song Sang-Hyun, the International Criminal Court President, Kwon O-Gon, a Judge and Vice President of The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, and Chung Chang-ho, a judge of The Khmer Rouge Tribunal.
President Park delivered words of encouragement to the meeting participants, “Exchanges among the international courts lay down precious grounds for humankind to enjoy a happy life.” She also emphasized the need for international courts to take steps on human rights issues, “If the international courts contribute to helping North Korean people live happy lives without suffering human rights violations, this will eventually contribute to achieving peace and unification on the Korean Peninsula.”
“Despite the past hardships such as colonization, war and ongoing military tension, the Republic of Korea has made an intense effort to realize democracy and constitutionalism. As a result, we have developed both in terms of politics and the economy and made a high level of progress on human rights,” said President Park.
President Park referred to the nation`s effort to share its expertise with other countries by saying, “Korea has been striving to share our experience and expertise with countries in the third world through carrying out various projects by the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) such as the Vietnam Judge Training School project for the Vietnam Supreme People’s Courts and invitational training programs for overseas judges.” She added that the Korean government will not spare any effort to provide the necessary support for international courts.
President emphasizes cooperation with Central Asia
President Park Geun-hye highlighted the need for economic cooperation with Central Asia and delivered words of encouragement to business leaders at an open forum on July 7. The forum attendees were business people from the delegation that accompanied the president on her trip to Central Asia last month.
President Park said that her state visit to Central Asia last month yielded a remarkable outcome, particularly in terms of the economy, which can be attributed to the concerted efforts of the government and business community.
“The cooperation with Central Asia is a prerequisite for Korea to realize its ‘Eurasia Initiative,’” said the president. Korea aims to build the so-called “Silk Road Express,” which would connect the Trans-Korean (TKR) and Trans-Siberian (TSR) railroads by linking Busan, China, Russia, Central Asia and Europe, and integrate the economies of the Asian and European regions under its Eurasia Initiative.
“To successfully undertake the initiative, we cannot ignore the importance of cultural and people-to-people exchange as well as that of economic cooperation,” said the president. She further urged the business gathering to take steps that pave the way for more exchange among youth, as well as people involved in the areas of culture, arts, sports and pop culture, in order to widen cultural understanding between Korea and Central Asia.
President Park made reference to Ahal-Teke, a horse breed - and national emblem - of Turkmenistan, and compared it to the history of economic development. “Just as the Ahal-Teke became an excellent steed as a result of endless self discipline, in order to survive in a rugged mountainous area, we too will be able to make the Eurasia Initiative a success if both the government and companies push forward by gathering power with the spirit of challenge and talent,” she said.
President meets renowned academics
President Park Geun-hye met former U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu and the President of Fudan University in China Yang Yu-liang on July 7 at Cheong Wa Dae. President Park and the two scholars discussed the issues of climate change, energy policy and cooperation in the science and technology sectors.
President Park expressed her deep interest in the two scholars in welcoming them, “Former Secretary Chu is a top expert in physics and President Yang is a leader in the development of China’s science and technology sectors.” She urged the two academics to articulate an insightful vision that is needed in these times, at an international symposium to be held in Seoul and hosted by the Korea Foundation for Advanced Studies (KFAS) on July 8.
President Park and former U.S. Secretary Chu shared the common view that the issue of climate change should be solved through boosting energy efficiency and in the technological innovation of renewable energy. By solving issues related to climate change, the president and Chu agreed that Korea needs to turn the climate change issue into an opportunity to create a new growth engine. They exchanged in-depth opinions on the future direction of dealing with climate change, energy policy and technology development, such as the greenhouse gas emission trading system. In order to transform itself into a low-carbon society, Korea has been preparing to introduce the greenhouse gas emission trading system.
President Park and President Yang discussed China’s policy to deal with climate change and its efforts related to international cooperation. They also shared opinions on a wide range of issues, including measures to enhance cooperation between Korea and China in the science and technology sectors and ways to attract talented human resources from overseas.
Korean, Chinese leaders attend special lunch, economic forum
President Park Geun-hye held a special lunch meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, who was on a state visit to Korea, together with First Lady Peng Liyuan, at the Korea Furniture Museum in Seongbuk-dong, Seoul.
This was a reciprocal lunch meeting, since President Xi arranged a special lunch for President Park during her state visit to China last year.
President Park, President Xi and First Lady Peng looked around the museum and learned about the traditional hanok building and traditional furniture of Korea. President Park then offered gifts to President Xi and his spouse.
The gifts offered to President Xi were a silver cloisonne tea set, some red ginseng of the highest quality and go stones inside lacquerware containers inlaid with mother-of-pearl. President Xi is known for his love of playing go and expressed gratitude by saying, “Thank you very much for the precious gifts,” while touching some of the go stones.
The Chinese leader offered President Park a glass piece decorated with roses of Sharon, First Lady Peng Liyuan’s autographed albums and a portrait of Zhao Zilong (unknown~229), a well-known Chinese military general who lived in the late Eastern Han dynasty and early Three Kingdoms period. President Park once said in her autobiography that Zhao Zilong was her "first love."
During the lunch, President Xi and First Lady Peng expressed their love for Korean doenjang jjigae, a soybean paste soup. First Lady Peng mentioned that she even cooked kimchi and tries to find better recipes for it.
Later that afternoon, Presidents Park and Xi attended the Korea-China Economic and Trade Cooperation Forum in Seoul to emphasize bilateral cooperation. This is the first time since the establishment of the Seoul-Beijing diplomatic relationship that both leaders have attended such a forum together.
President Park said in her keynote speech that the volume of bilateral economic trade has been gradually expanding.
“China has become Korea’s largest trade partner and Korea has become China’s third largest trading destination. The two countries need a leap forward in order to achieve a greater level of cooperation and common growth based on the outcomes they have achieved over the last 20 years,” said President Park.
“To this aim, both countries need to diversity the range of cooperation to services, energy and newly emerging industries from the existing manufacturing sectors. The two countries also need to expand the level of market opening and build a more stable trade environment through the Korea-China free trade agreement,” she said.
President Park also said that both countries need to consider ways to collaborate on Korea’s Eurasia Initiative and China’s “New Silk Road Vision.” In the “Eurasia Initiative,” Korea envisions expanding the amount of exchanges taking place in all sorts of areas: in logistics, resource development and new industries, as well as cultural and people-to-people exchanges based on the transport and communication networks that connect Europe and Asia. “If the Eurasia Initiative can link to China’s ‘New Silk Road Vision,’ China will play a bridging role that will connect Northeast Asia, Central Asia, the Middle East and Europe, which will thus make the influence of both countries even greater,” said President Park.
In his speech, President Xi reciprocated, saying that the Bank of China was selected as the clearing lender for the yuan based on the agreement to build a direct trading market between the Korean won and the Chinese yuan. He also proposed the building of a free trade zone through the FTA in order to bolster economic and trade cooperation between the two countries.
President Xi also expressed hope for strengthening economic cooperation in the long term for sustainable growth. He further proposed to deepen cooperation in trade, finance and international relations.
Korea, China support denuclearization, extend economic cooperation
After holding the summit meetings at Cheong Wa Dae, the two leaders adopted a joint statement which contained a determined stance in opposition to the nuclear weapons program of North Korea.
In the statement, the two leaders agreed to further develop bilateral relations based on a joint statement signed this year and the Joint communique for the Korea-China future vision, which the two countries signed last year. These two joint statements contain agreements between the two countries, which agreed to become partners in order to mutually develop, contribute to regional peace and development of Asia and promote the prosperity of the world.
To this goal, based on mutual trust, the two countries agreed to establish more developed strategic partnership relations so that the two countries can closely discuss issues of common interest as well as long-term issues. Both Seoul and Beijing agreed to strengthen cooperation to boost peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and in Northeast Asia.
The two leaders agreed to expand economic cooperation and trade, with an eye on the future through creativity and innovation, in order to enhance the quality of life of the peoples of both countries. Both leaders shared the vision of playing the role of locomotive for growth of both the regional and world economy. They agreed to achieve this by making efforts toward the economic integration of the Northeast Asian region and the world.
Seoul, Beijing boost cultural exchange, support trust-building process
The two countries agreed to establish heart-to-heart, trust-based relations by boosting two-way people-to-people and cultural exchanges and deepening the emotional bonds between the two peoples. The two sides shared a common understanding on the need of six-party talks. They agreed that the countries affected by the talks should respect and strengthen communication by both bilateral and multilateral means. The ultimate goal in mind is to achieve denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and solve issues of common interest, based on the September 19 Joint Statement.
The Korean government aims to build mutual trust between Seoul and Pyongyang through the Korean Peninsula trust-building process, in order to advance inter-Korean relations and take the peace root in the region. South Korea emphasized that the two Koreas need to take steps to solve humanitarian issues on both sides, and build infrastructure for the livelihood of those affected, while narrowing the emotional gap between them. Seoul stressed that such steps will contribute to the peaceful unification of the Korean Peninsula and co-prosperity of Northeast Asia.
To this aim, China highly valued the efforts of South Korea in improving inter-Korean relations. Beijing supported Seoul’s vision in which the two Koreas can boost relations, reconcile and cooperate through dialogue. The Chinese leader respected and supported the desire of the Korean people to achieve the ultimate goal of a peaceful unification.
China reaffirmed that there is only one China in the world and Taiwan is an inseparable part of the Chinese territory. Seoul expressed an understanding and respect for Beijing’s position in this regard. The Korean government expressed support to China’s standpoint in which the People’s Republic of China is the only legitimate government that represents China and its "One China" view. Seoul further supported peaceful development in Cross-Strait relations.
Both China and Korea viewed positively the progress being made in negotiations for a free trade agreement (FTA) at an integrated level, and agreed to bolster efforts to conclude the deal within this year. Both countries also agreed to make active efforts to establish a direct system where the Korean won and the Chinese yuan can be traded. The two governments further agreed to achieve a people-to-people exchange volume of 10 million by 2016. They also agreed to take steps to negotiate an extension of the visa-wavering range for both peoples. In this regard, they agreed to designate 2015 and 2016 as the “Years of China-Korea Visit.”
President Park pays state visit to Turkmenistan
President Park Geun-hye said that cooperation between Korea and Turkmenistan, based on Korean technology and abundant Turkmen natural resources, should be encouraged and would become a successful example for economic cooperation, during her state visit to the country on June 20.
"Korea and Turkmenistan can develop our relationship to make it a more future-oriented partnership that can bring win-win results," emphasized President Park during a banquet at the presidential palace in Ashgabat hosted by President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow.
President Park said during the banquet that she could truly understand Turkmenistan, as the nation has a tradition of considering visitors to be god-sent and of treating them with warm hospitality. She also added that, "Now I see the capability and possibility of Turkmenistan, the birthplace of the ancient Margush, or Margu, civilization, center of the famed Silk Road and a nation that has seen outstanding economic growth over recent years."
The Korean president said that, according to the East Asian zodiac, this year marks the year of the blue horse, which occurs only once every 60 years. She added that, "Just like the Akhal-Teke, the renowned Turkmen breed of horse, the year 2014 will hopefully become a landmark year for the relationship between our two countries."
On the same day, the two heads of state held a summit meeting where they agreed to expand the participation of Korean companies in Turkmen national development projects. In addition, the two sides vowed to improve cooperation between private companies and to expand the volume of trade and investment flowing between their countries, in order to build a more substantive relationship. The two countries also agreed to move forward the signing of two important agreements: the Double Tax Avoidance Agreement and the Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement.
Moreover, the two sides promised to work together to develop substantive cooperation in the fields of agriculture, transportation, architecture, and science and technology, as well as education. The two nations also agreed to closely cooperate on the successful hosting of the 5th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games, set to open in Turkmenistan in 2017.
The Turkmen president showed his support for the Korean government`s Eurasia Initiative, an effort to seek both economic growth across Eurasia and the reunification of Korea, and he also supported the president`s policies related to the current situation on the Korean Peninsula.
Following the summit, the two sides signed a number of deals to spur economic ties. The signed MOUs included deals on a chemical plant worth two billion dollars, a gas chemical and liquefaction plant totaling three billion dollars, the right to sell plastic chemicals in Korea produced in Kiyanly, and more.