The Korea Herald


Park attends U.N. climate summit

By (공용)코리아헤럴드

Published : Sept. 23, 2014 - 22:11

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South Korean President Park Geun-hye attended the U.N. Climate Summit held in New York on Tuesday to discuss ways to combat climate change with top global leaders and to reaffirm the nation’s commitment to the global initiative.

The climate summit was held to take joint action on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, a major cause of global warming. South Korea has vowed to take efforts to cut the level of carbon dioxide gas emissions by 30 percent from business-as-usual levels by 2020.

Park arrived in New York after her state visit to Canada on late Monday evening. Park’s visit to New York marks her debut at the U.N., where leaders from more than 140 countries have gathered for the climate summit and the General Assembly to be held on Wednesday.

The South Korean president is scheduled to deliver an opening speech at the General Assembly, during which she is expected to call for international support to bring peace to the divided Korean Peninsula and the Asia-Pacific region. However, it remains unclear whether she will bring up the “comfort women” issue while delivering her speech and press Japan for a sincere apology to the victims of the wartime atrocities.

She also plans to attend the U.N. Security Council summit to be held to seek joint measures to crack down a terrorist organization known as the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq.

Prior to the meeting, the United States and its Arab allies launched bombing raids against Islamic State militants on early Tuesday.
President Park Geun-hye meets with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and World Bank president Jim Yong Kim (left) at Ban’s official residence in New York on Monday. (Yonhap) President Park Geun-hye meets with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and World Bank president Jim Yong Kim (left) at Ban’s official residence in New York on Monday. (Yonhap)

Shortly after Park landed in New York, she met U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who served as South Korean foreign minister between 2004 and 2006. Ban greeted Park during a closed-door banquet held at his official residence and said that her visit to Canada was a success. Park replied that the free trade agreement with Canada was not an easy task, adding that it took nine years to sign the deal.

On Monday, South Korea and Canada signed a broad free trade deal that will gradually lift almost all tariffs on agreed products to be traded between both nations over the next 10 years.

The two sides described the deal as a “historic initiative that will strengthen our trade and investment ties across the Pacific,” according to the text of a joint declaration issued following a summit between Park and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

The free trade deal is the ninth for South Korea ― the first Asian nation to sign an FTA with Canada.

South Korea expects to enjoy benefits for its automobile sector under the agreement.

The South Korean government said it will request for the National Assembly to approve the deal with Canada early next month.

During the summit, Park and Harper also agreed to expand bilateral cooperation in such fields as energy, and research and development in the Arctic. The two leaders also urged North Korea to abandon its missile and nuclear weapons programs, and voiced concerns over its dismal human rights record.

By Cho Chung-un and news reports