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President Park meets with Catholic leaders

Posted March. 15, 2014 03:28,   


President Park Geun-hye had her first luncheon with Catholic leaders Friday to congratulate the newly appointed Cardinal Andrew Yeom Soo-jeong and discuss Pope Francis` planned visit to Korea in mid-August. Archbishop Osvaldo Padilla, apostolic nuncio to Korea and Mongolia, and Bishoop Kang Woo-il also attended the luncheon.

President Park met with Buddhist leaders in July last year but failed to get together with Catholic leaders due to her schedules. Received the Catholic name of Juliana in her middle school days in 1965, President Park has deep relations with the Catholic Church.

Prior to the meeting, she met with Mongolian parliamentary speaker Zandaakhuu Enkhbold, who brought a book written by an economic advisor for her father, former President Park Chung-hee, on how he turned South Korea into an economic power. Enkhbold said that he had received the book from the South Korean embassy in Mongolia last year and that the book was a "textbook" for his country`s industrialization.

Meanwhile, President Park plans to visit the Netherlands later this month to attend the third Nuclear Security Summit set for March 24-25, before making a March 25-28 trip to Germany for a state visit.

She is one of the three leaders to deliver a speech in the opening session of the third Nuclear Security Summit. The other two are Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. After the summit, Park will hold a summit with the Dutch prime minister.

The Nuclear Security Summit is the world`s largest multilateral security summit attended by heads of 53 countries around the world and leaders of four international organizations. This year, the summit plans to adopt the Hague communiqué for action measures to prevent nuclear and radioactive terrorism. The first nuclear summit was held in Washington in 2010 at U.S. President Barack Obama`s proposal, and the second meeting was held in Seoul in 2012.

In Germany, the South Korean president plans to meet with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and unification experts to call for international support for Seoul`s plan to lay the foundation for peaceful reunification. President Park also plans to visit Dresden, economic and industrial center of former East Germany, for the first time among South Korean presidents.