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Pres. Park calls for genuine progress in N. Korea`s denuclearization

Pres. Park calls for genuine progress in N. Korea`s denuclearization

Posted November. 08, 2013 02:54,   


South Korean President Park Geun-hye held a summit with Belgian Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo on Thursday (local time) during the last stop in her trip to Western Europe.

"Ten years have passed since the six-party talks (on denuclearizing North Korea) started, but we have not been able to achieve the North`s denuclearization," President Park said during the summit at the Egmont Palace in Brussels. "Dialogue that can achieve substantial progress in the denuclearization, not dialogue for the sake of dialogue, should be held at the six-party level."

The remarks are interpreted as her support for the principle that the six-party talks should not be resumed until North Korea takes meaningful steps on denuclearization, as agreed in Washington D.C. on Wednesday among chief nuclear negotiators of South Korea, the United States and Japan

Belgium is the first country where chemical weapons were used for the first time by the German military in 1915 during World War I. Therefore, Belgium actively supports the banning of chemical and nuclear weapons uses. In 2011, when North Korea asked to open its embassy in Belgium, Brussels rejected the proposal, saying that it would be possible only when improvements were made in the North Korean nuclear issues, the inter-Korean relations and its dire human rights situations.

The Belgian prime minister shared the view that Pyongyang`s nuclear possession cannot be tolerated under any circumstances, expressing support for President Park`s Korean Peninsula trust-building process and initiatives for peace and cooperation in Northeast Asia.

The two leaders also had in-depth discussions about the political situation in Europe, Syria and Iran as well as that on the Korean Peninsula and in Northeast Asia. Presidential office Cheong Wa Dae said that it was part of her "middle power diplomacy."

On the same day in Brussels, South Korea`s Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy hosted a ceremony marking five top-notch European companies` decision to invest a combined 3.7 trillion U.S. dollars in the country.

Solvay S.A., Belgium`s largest chemical company, decided to invest 110 million dollars to build chemical products plant in Saemangeum, South Korea. Germany`s BASF, the world`s No. 2 chemical company in terms of sales, plans to build a 320-million-dollar research and development center for electronic and chemical materials on the campus of Sungkyunkwan University in Seoul. Italy`s Versalis, the second-largest synthetic rubber maker in Europe, plans to invest 100 million dollars in Yeosu, South Jeolla Province to build a joint venture for synthetic rubber production and sales with Lotte Chemical.

The two leaders also agreed to open a campus of Ghent University in the Songdo Global Campus in South Korea`s Incheon Free Economic Zone. The local campus is expected to open in September next year with some 900 students in three undergraduate departments of food, environment and molecular biology.

President Park had a state banquet hosted by Belgian King Philippe at the Royal Castle of Laeken in Brussels. Park recalled that she met with King Albert II, the father of the current king, in 1978 as the acting First Lady when the former king visited South Korea. Recalling the meeting, Park said that a vocational training center opened with Belgium`s assistance has made great contributions to cultivating skilled manpower in South Korea. King Philippe also noted that he has visited South Korea four times, including two visits during his days as a crown prince.

Prior to her visit to Belgium, President Park concluded the three-day state visit to Britain by saying farewell to Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace.