Park calls for expanding ties with U.S. in energy, healthcare

Park likely to announce detailed unification plan with N. Korea during German visit

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Published : 2014-03-16 22:34
Updated : 2014-03-16 22:34

President Park Geun-hye is likely to announce more detailed policy ideas on her push to achieve unification with North Korea during her planned visit to Germany later in the month, sources said Sunday.

Park is scheduled to pay a four-day visit to Germany on March 25 to meet with President Joachim Gauck and Chancellor Angela Merkel, as well as those who are well versed in Germany's unification experience there.

The sources said that Park may announce what could be named the "Park Geun-hye Doctrine" or the "Park Geun-hye Unification Declaration," capitalizing on her visit to the country that succeed in unifying East and West Germany.

"As Germany has achieved its unification earlier and turned the experience into a foundation for the building of its international reputation, Park may possibly lay out her idea of 'unification as a jackpot' in more detail during the Germany visit," one of the government sources said.

Park announced unification with North Korea as one of her priority policies in her New Year's press conference this year and has since pushed for ways to step up exchanges with Pyongyang.

The two Koreas held their first reunions of separated South and North Korean families in more than three years last month, and Park has offered to provide more humanitarian aid to the North.

The sources said Park's planned announcement in Germany may range from approval of a plan for fertilizer assistance to North Korea to a decision to set up a second joint inter-Korean industrial complex.

 The Korea Federation of SMEs, a group of small- and medium-size firms, had previously disclosed the North's suggestion for local firms to create the second version of the Kaesong Industrial Complex in the North's Rajin-Sonbong special economic zone at the northern tip of the country. 

The federation said it will aggressively push for the new joint economic project, hinting at the South Korean government's possible involvement in the inter-Korean project.

Park may pick Berlin or Dresden, a major industrial center in what was East Germany, as the place for her announcement, the sources said.

 Previously, late South Korean President Kim Dae-jung announced the "Berlin Declaration" during his visit to Germany in March 2000 to lay out his plan to bring peace and reconciliation to the Korean Peninsula. The announcement led to a summit meeting with late North Korean leader Kim Jong-il three months later in Pyongyang. (Yonhap)

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