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Pres. Lee Pledges ‘New Pragmatic Diplomacy Era’

Posted April. 16, 2008 03:26,   


President Lee Myung-bak yesterday pledged to open a new era of pragmatic diplomacy and to come back [from his trips to the United States and Japan] with achieved goals.

Before departing for a week-long visit to the United States and Japan, he said, “I will meet the leaders with dignity, pride and openness. Our national interest comes before anything else. Still, I will also bear in mind our obligations and duties as a member of the global community.”

“My visit will boost our traditional alliance with the United States, and will serve as grounds for establishment of future-oriented relations with Japan. When I come back, I will bring the results that will help advance our economy.”

President Lee also warned government officials against getting sluggish during his absence, saying, “I will be away, but the government should be up and running led by the prime minister.

“We have urgent agenda and tasks in front us. The bird flu outbreak exemplifies the need to keep aware and diligent.”

Lee will hold summit talks with U.S. President Bush Saturday and one with Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda on April 21.

Prior to his departure, Lee phoned his predecessor Roh Moo-hyun in the morning, and talked with three other former presidents -- Chun Doo-hwan, Kim Young-sam and Kim Dae-jung.