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A flurry of diplomacy on president’s second day in office

President Park Geun-hye started her second day in office with a series of meetings with foreign delegations.

Earlier in the day on February 26, President Park first met with Canada’s Governor-General David Lloyd Johnston. During the meeting, Park mentioned the upcoming visit to Korea by Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper to mark the 60th anniversary of the ceasefire of the Korean War.

“The year of 2013 means a lot to both Korea and Canada, because this year also marks the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries, as well as the 60th anniversary of the cease-fire of the Korean War,” said Park. “We also launched the Year of Canada here in Korea and the Year of Korea in Canada in 2013.”

 President Park Geun-hye (right) shakes hands with Canada’s Governor-General David Lloyd Johnston (photo courtesy of Cheong Wa Dae). President Park Geun-hye (right) shakes hands with Canada’s Governor-General David Lloyd Johnston (photo courtesy of Cheong Wa Dae).

In the next meeting, Park held talks with U.S. National Security Adviser Thomas Donilon, who visited Korea with other high-level foreign congratulatory delegations. They agreed on enhanced cooperation between the two countries and discussed the upcoming Korea-U.S summit.

“I extend my appreciation to President Barack Obama for sending the delegation for the inauguration, and for the congratulatory statement by the White House just upon my election,” said Park.

 President Park Geun-hye (right) shakes hands with U.S National Security Adviser Thomas Donilon at the Blue House on her second day in office (photo courtesy of Cheong Wa Dae). President Park Geun-hye (right) shakes hands with U.S National Security Adviser Thomas Donilon at Cheong Wa Dae on her second day in office (photo courtesy of Cheong Wa Dae).

President Park had a group meeting with representatives from Denmark, France, Britain, and Germany, where she spoke of her hope for “strengthened cooperation and future-oriented relations between countries.”

President Park also met Indonesian Vice President Boediono, Peruvian Vice President Marisol Espinoza, and UN Deputy Secretary General Jan Eliasson in turn.

 President Park Geun-hye (middle in the back row) meets representatives from Britain (from left in the back row), Denmark, France, and Germany who visited Korea to take part in the inauguration ceremony held on February 25 (photo courtesy of Cheong Wa Dae). President Park Geun-hye (middle in the back row) meets representatives from Britain (from left in the back row), Denmark, France, and Germany who visited Korea to take part in the inauguration ceremony held on February 25 (photo courtesy of Cheong Wa Dae).

“Thanks to support from the international community, Korea has grown into what it is today,” Park told UN Deputy Secretary General Eliasson. “In that process, the U.N has played a crucial role in the transition of Korea into one of the power houses in the world. So now is the time for Korea to return the favor,” she added.

 President Park Geun-hye (right) receives UN Deputy Secretary General Jan Eliasson at the Blue House on February 26 (photo courtesy of Cheong Wa Dae). President Park Geun-hye (right) receives UN Deputy Secretary General Jan Eliasson at Cheong Wa Dae on February 26 (photo courtesy of Cheong Wa Dae).

Later in the day, President Park met with former Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda and Secretary General Fukushiro Nukaga of the Alliance of Korean-Japanese Lawmakers, where she emphasized “the role of diplomacy among lawmakers in promoting friendly relations between Korea and Japan.”

 President Park Geun-hye (middle right) talks with the Japanese delegation including former Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda (second from left in the right row) (photo courtesy of Cheong Wa Dae). President Park Geun-hye (middle right) talks with the Japanese delegation including former Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda (second from left in the right row) (photo courtesy of Cheong Wa Dae).

She also had a group meeting with foreign delegations from Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Gabon, Uzbekistan, and Kazakhstan.

After the talks with Vietnamese Vice President Nguyen Thi Doan, President Park received Governor-General of Australia Quentin Bryce. Park spoke of her hope for smooth progress in signing the Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement (FTA).

 President Park Geun-hye (right) talks with Governor-General of Australia Quentin Bryce at Cheong Wa Dae (photo courtesy of Cheong Wa Dae). President Park Geun-hye (right) talks with Governor-General of Australia Quentin Bryce at Cheong Wa Dae (photo courtesy of Cheong Wa Dae).

By Sohn Ji-ae
jiae5853@korea.kr

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