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South Korean President Lee Myung-bak delivers New Year's message

01 Jan

Jan. 1, SEOUL, South Korea -- President Lee Myung-bak gives a New Year's message at the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae in Seoul on Jan. 1. (Yonhap)

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SEOUL, Jan. 1 (KATAKAMI / Yonhap) — President Lee Myung-bak expressed confidence Saturday that South Korea will bring peace to the peninsula and attain further economic development in the new year.

“In the new year of 2011, I am confident that we will be able to establish peace on the Korean Peninsula and continue sustained economic growth,” Lee said in his New Year’s message. “I believe in the potential of the Korean people who always come together and turn crises into opportunities.”

He said the country’s fortunes are on an upswing in the international community.

He pointed out that South Korea achieved 5-percent economic growth, the highest among OECD member countries, in 2010 and became the world’s seventh largest exporting nation. South Korea also successfully hosted the G-20 economic summit and forged free trade agreements with the European Union and the United States, he said.

“Even though our land is small, our economic territory has become the largest in the world,” he said. “Korea has now emerged as a hub of free trade.”

The president said those achievements can be ascribed to the painstaking efforts by all Korean people.

“We should not let the chance to increase our national fortunes slip away. We must not hesitate to leap over the threshold to become an advanced country,” he said.  (*)



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