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Pres. Lee Proposes `Korean Peninsula Economic System`

Posted August. 16, 2008 07:17,   


President Lee Myung-bak yesterday proposed a joint Korean Peninsula economic system, saying, “The legend of the Republic of Korea will continue. The age of a great Korea will open. The age of a unified Korea will open.”

In a speech on the occasion of the 63rd Liberation Day and the 60th birthday of the Republic of Korea at Gyeongbok Palace in Seoul, he also said, “There could be an alternative, but I do not want to go around the North Korean people and leave them behind. I am not going to give up the dream of both Koreas living well together."

On Seoul`s policy toward Pyongyang, he said, “Despite the regrettable shooting death of a South Korean tourist at the Mount Geumgang resort, I expect Pyongyang will come forward for comprehensive dialogue and economic cooperation because now is the most opportune time for it to change.”

"In accordance with progress at the six-party talks and through international cooperation, I intend to proactively carry out substantive economic cooperation with the North and ultimately materialize a Korean Peninsula economic community."

“We lost our country in the past due to our lack of strength to safeguard it ourselves," he said. "No country will dare covet our territory if we make our country rich and powerful.”

He also urged Japan to face up to history and "refrain from making the foolish mistake of repeating the unfortunate past again.”

Saying security, trust and rule of law constitute the very basics in building a “top-notch, advanced nation,” the president said, “I will demonstrate in person that violations of the law by anyone, including myself, will not be tolerated. At the same time, corruption and irregularities will no longer be tolerated over the remainder of my term.”

He also promoted alternative and cleaner sources of energy, saying, “Green growth is a new national development paradigm that creates new growth engines and jobs with green technology and clean energy. It will enable a miracle on the Korean Peninsula to succeed the miracle on the Han River.”

He also pledged to raise the country`s energy self-sufficiency rate to 18 percent over his term, adding, “The rate will eventually be raised to more than 50 percent by 2050.”

“The centerpiece of national management will be placed on how to promote the happiness of individual members of society. Going beyond the era of success, we will usher in an era of happiness.”

A new committee under the presidential office will open soon to upgrade the value of Korea’s national brand, he said, so that it will be on par with that of advanced countries.

President Lee also pledged to expand official developmental assistance, actively participate in U.N. peacekeeping operations and improve the nation’s immigration procedures and policies to attract the world’s gifted into Korea.