Friday, March 14, 2014

Park seeks Mongolia's support for 'Eurasian initiative'

SEOUL, March 14 (Yonhap) -- South Korean President Park Geun-hye sought Mongolia's support for her vision to bind Asia and Europe closer together as she met with the country's parliamentary speaker on Friday.

Park's "Eurasian initiative" was a key topic during her talks with parliamentary speaker Zandaakhuu Enkhbold. He has been on a four-day visit to South Korea since Tuesday at the invitation of his South Korean counterpart and National Assembly Speaker Kang Chang-hee.

The initiative calls for binding Eurasian nations closely together by linking roads and railways to realize what she called the "Silk Road Express" that runs from South Korea to Europe via North Korea, Russia and China.

Park said Mongolia is a key partner for the vision and asked for support, officials said.

Enkhbold said he supports the vision "200 percent."

The speaker said that Mongolian President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj asked him to convey his regards to Park and wished her good health and happiness. Park also asked the parliamentary speaker to convey her regards to the Mongolian president.

Park said that it was meaningful that Elbegdorj urged North Korea to become a responsible member of the international community when he visited Pyongyang in October. The four-day trip made Elbegdorj the first foreign head of state to visit Pyongyang since North Korean leader Kim Jong-un took power after the death of his father Kim Jong-il in late 2011.

At the end of the trip, the Mongolian leader delivered a lecture at Kim Il Sung University. In the speech, he urged Pyongyang to let its people "live free" and emulate Mongolia's model of transformation, saying, "No tyranny lasts forever."

Enkhbold said Mongolia is ready to share its reform experiences with North Korea.

Park also called for Mongolia's support for unification between the two Koreas, saying it will not only contribute to peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and in Northeast Asia, but will also provide a fresh growth engine for countries in the region.

She also asked for support for South Korean firms trying to take part in infrastructure construction projects in Mongolia, officials said.
South Korean President Park Geun-hye shakes hands with Mongolian parliamentary speaker Zandaakhuu Enkhbold during a meeting in Seoul on March 14. (Yonhap)

jschang@yna.co.kr

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