The Korea Herald


S. Korean PM seeks int'l support for unification

By Shin Ji-hye

Published : April 10, 2014 - 21:31

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South Korean Prime Minister Chung Hong-won asked the international community Thursday to extend support for the reunification of the two Koreas, stressing that a unified Korea will be a new global growth engine.

He made the remarks during his keynote speech at the Boao Forum of Asia held in China's tropical island of Hainan. Chung is on his eight-day trip from Wednesday, which will also take him to Pakistan early next week.

"Our peaceful reunification will set out a novel blueprint for the future for not only the Korean Peninsula but all of Asia," Chung said in a speech.

"The unified Korea based upon free democracy and market economy will be a new growth engine for Asia and beyond by providing each country of the world with a new destination for investment," he said.

Explaining the so-called Dresden Declaration by President Park Geun-hye, Chung called for "the international community's actively cooperation and support for Seoul's efforts for national unity."

In her speech last month at the Dresden University of Technology in the formerly East German city of the same name, Park laid out a road map for reunification of the two Koreas, stressing that the reunification of the two Koreas will be an economic "bonanza" for the international community.

The prime minister also introduced South Korea's economic policy measures including its three-year economic innovation plan and its "creative economy" vision.

"In a move to shift the paradigm into a dynamic innovative economy, South Korea plans to expand its investment in science technology to have it reach 5 percent of the gross domestic product by 2017," Chung said.

"We have also been actively pushing for deregulation to remove stumbling blocks for the emergence of new types of businesses and investment," he said. "We hope to grow together with other Asian countries by sharing our economic innovation strategies."

Launched in 2001 by China, the Boao Forum for Asia has been a venue for leaders from government, business and academia in Asia and other continents to exchange visions on pending economic and other related issues. The annual meeting was modeled after the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Later in the day, Chung held his first meeting with his Chinese counterpart Li Keqiang to discuss the political situation on the Korean Peninsula and ways to expand cooperation in economic and environmental matters.

"Security concerns have risen in light of North Korea's recent missile tests and threat of a fourth nuclear test," Chung said, asking China to play a greater role in deterring Pyongyang from provocations.

Li said China is opposed to the North's nuclear development, vowing to closely cooperate with Seoul to work on the matter, according to a Seoul official who attended the meeting.

The two sides also agreed to expand economic cooperation by advancing the ongoing talks for a bilateral free trade agreement, and discussed ways to reduce ultrafine dust that has been increasingly affecting Northeast Asia.

During his eight-day trip, Chung ill move to the southwestern Chinese city of Chongqing next Friday to attend a ceremony marking the 95th anniversary of the establishment of a provisional government.

From China, the prime minister will fly to Pakistan on Sunday, becoming the highest-ranking South Korean official to visit the South Asian country since the establishment of their diplomatic ties in 1983.

There, he is scheduled to hold a series of meetings with Pakistani President Mamnoon Hussain and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to explore ways to strengthen bilateral cooperation in such diverse fields as the political, economic and development sectors, with a focus on helping South Korean businesses expand into the country, according to Chung's office. (Yonhap)