Park holds talks with Museveni on trade and N. Korea
President Park Geun-hye met with her Ugandan counterpart Yoweri Museveni on Sunday as South Korea is reaching out to Africa to boost business opportunities with the continent that has huge growth potential.
The summit -- the third such meeting between the two leaders -- came as Museveni has cited South Korea as a model for his country’s economic development.
South Korea has become a donor country from a key recipient of U.N. aid in half a century, a transformation that has inspired many developing nations to follow in the footsteps of the Asian country in advancing their economies.
South Korean officials said before the talks that Park and Museveni were expected to hold in-depth consultations on infrastructure, development cooperation and North Korea’s nuclear weapons program.
Park is seeking Uganda's cooperation and support for international pressure on North Korea to try to get Pyongyang to abandon its nuclear program.
Uganda has been maintaining military cooperation with North Korea, and the long-time Ugandan leader has visited Pyongyang three times. Some 50 North Korean military and police personnel are believed to be working in Uganda.
On Saturday, Park warned that the international community might not be able to do anything to stop North Korea's nuclear weapons program if its efforts to get Pyongyang to denuclearize end in failure.
North Korea is under the toughest U.N. sanctions ever over its fourth nuclear test and its long-range rocket launch earlier this year.
Still, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has called his country a "responsible nuclear state" in the clearest sign yet that he won't end its nuclear program.
After the summit, Park and Museveni watched as their representatives signed 10 memorandums of understanding between the two nations.
The MOUs call for, among other things, bilateral cooperation in the energy and plant sector, a move that Seoul says could help South Korean companies make inroads into Uganda’s infrastructure market.
A consortium led by GS Engineering & Construction Co., a major South Korean construction firm, has been in talks with Uganda over a US$1.5 billion project to build a refinery near Hoima in western Uganda.
One of the MOUs calls for bilateral cooperation in the generation, distribution and transmission of electrical power.
Uganda is pushing to build two hydroelectric power plants by 2020 to increase its power generation capacity to 2,500 MW from 827 MW in 2014. It also plans to ramp up per capita power consumption to 578 kWh by 2020 from 80 kWh in 2013.
Uganda is the second stop on Park's swing through Africa. The trip is set to take her to Nairobi on Monday for talks with President Uhuru Kenyatta. (Yonhap)