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‘The Starting Year for an Advanced & Global Korea’

Posted February. 25, 2008 03:14,   


Lee Myung-bak will begin Monday his five-year presidential term under his administration’s slogan to revive the economy and make Korea an advanced nation. At midnight, outgoing President Roh Moo-hyun will hand over his reins to Lee, including the title of commander-in-chief.

Lee officially takes office Monday morning at the 17th presidential inauguration ceremony in front of the National Assembly’s headquarters in Seoul.

He is expected to present five themes to summarize his administration’s goals in his inauguration speech: an advanced Korea, pragmatism, a global Korea, economic revival and change, independence and creativity.

As the country’s first conservative president in ten years, President Lee will “express his positive views on the progress that the Republic of Korea has made in its 60 years of history, and attribute the successful industrialization and democratization of Korea to the people,” according to his spokesman Lee Dong-kwan.

President Lee is also expected to designate 2008 as the “starting year for an advanced Korea,” which symbolizes beginning anew and putting six decades of history behind.

Spokesman Lee said, “Details for making Korea an advanced nation will be viewed in the light of the pragmatic needs of the times. President Lee will deliver a message in his speech urging the people to build a global Korea together through harmony and cooperation, social integration and economic development. At the same time, he will go over his main policies to jumpstart the economy in detail by sector.”

On inter-Korean relations, the spokesman said the president will suggest an open-hearted dialogue with North Korean leader Kim Jong Il on inter-Korean issues whenever necessary, while constantly urging the North to denuclearize and open itself to the international community.

President Lee is also expected to emphasize diplomatic efforts toward Asian countries while keeping the principles of global diplomacy. On social welfare, he will highlight the active role of the nation together with the importance of competition in welfare.

“In his speech, President Lee will encourage people to change and open themselves to the future, which will bring new demands,” spokesman Lee said. “It will require creativity as well. To sum up, he will ask them to join his efforts to create a new legend of Korea. The overall theme will be ‘the way forward in making Korea an advanced nation.””

The inauguration speech was written under the direction of presidential chief of staff nominee Yoo Woo-ik with the help of advice from the outside.

President Lee will leave his private home in downtown Seoul in the morning and attend the inauguration ceremony after paying tribute at Seoul National Cemetery with his wife Kim Yoon-ok.

His official diplomatic activities will begin immediately after the ceremony with high-ranking foreign officials who will attend the inauguration. He will hold his first summit as president with Japanese Prime Minister Fukuda Yasuo, followed by a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.