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S. Korean president discusses future growth with Singapore premier
DECEMBER 12, 2013 06:24  
South Korean President Park Geun-hye met with Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Wednesday in her last summit diplomacy this year, discussing ways for closer bilateral cooperation in future economic growth.

"South Korea and Singapore have something in common with achieving economic growth based on excellent human resources despite insufficient natural resources," President Park said. "I believe both countries are faced with a common task of making a new leap forward based on creativity and innovation."

Lee echoed Park뭩 view, expressing hopes that the two countries can share experiences in addressing similar challenges they are facing, adding the city-state is paying attention to President Park`s efforts for "creative economy."

Back in 2008, Park met with Lee and his father, Singapore`s founding prime minister Lee Kuan Yew. In particular, the Korean president has a special relationship with the senior Lee. In 1979 when the Father of Singapore visited South Korea for a summit with then President Park Chung-hee, she acted as a translator. She also recalled her second get-together with the senior Lee in Seoul in 2006 in her autobiography, saying he treated her as if she had been his daughter.

"Having met with the presidents of the United States, China and Russia for more than twice, President Park has induced their support for her diplomacy," said an official at the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae. In addition, she has garnered international understanding of and support for her proposals for addressing the North Korean nuclear issue and her Korean Peninsula trust-building process by visiting all member states of the United Nations Security Council. "Another accomplishment (of her diplomacy) is that she discussed her Eurasia initiative calling for the integration of the European and Asian markets with the parties interested such as heads of Russia, European countries and Central Asian nations."

However, she has yet to win clear support for her ideas on peace and cooperation in Northeast Asia, a key part of her diplomacy, from the U.S. and China. In addition, South Korea`s relationship with Japan, a key partner in accomplishing the ideas, has been worsened. Many inside and outside of her administration express concerns that the ideas have holes already. "Despite the lack of any clear result yet, Seoul is having behind-the-scenes talks with Tokyo to improve the bilateral relationship," a Cheong Wa Dae official said.

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