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South Korean President Lee Myung-bak stresses government's responsible role in 'risk society'

South Korean President President Lee Myung-bak

SEOUL, March 21 (KATAKAMI.COM) — South Korean President Lee Myung-bak said Monday that Japan’s nuclear crisis, albeit caused by a natural disaster that was beyond human control, showed risks posed by the science and technology that was developed for convenience and effectiveness, Yonhap News Agency reported on Monday.
 

“This reality is referred to as a ‘risk society,'” Lee said in his biweekly radio address. “We now have advanced science and technology. Still, a failure to pay due attention to every single nut and bolt could cause a large-scale accident, wreaking serious havoc on the social system.”

He said the tragedy in Japan, which is struggling to contain high-level radiation leaks from nuclear reactors crippled by a powerful earthquake and subsequent tsunami, served as a wake-up call to South Korea.

Lee affirmed that his administration will continue making efforts to ensure the safety of the people.

“I am keenly aware, indeed, that the basic obligation of the state is to overcome danger and maintain public safety,” he said. “The government will faithfully keep the promise that the safety of the people has the highest priority.”

He reiterated that South Korea is immune to the radiation released from Japan’s reactors, citing the opinion that the radioactive elements cannot be carried off by the wind to the peninsula.

“Please do not be swayed by unfounded rumors or unscientific speculations about a nuclear fallout,” Lee said.

He also said South Korea has little chance of suffering a Japanese-style nuclear crisis, as all of its 21 nuclear reactors were constructed with consideration of the biggest possible earthquake that could occur here.

But the government has already started a comprehensive safety check on all of the plants, he added.

Lee said South Koreans can learn many lessons from how the Japanese people and the media have reacted to the ongoing tragedy.

“In the extreme conditions threatening their survival, the Japanese people shared water and food with each other. In order to prevent further damage from radiation leaks, some people dashed to the dangerous scenes risking their own lives,” he said. “The international press praised the discipline, considerateness and devotion that the Japanese citizens demonstrated, saying that it represented the evolution of the human spirit.”

Lee also said he was very proud of a wave of condolences and donations by South Koreans for the neighbor in trouble.

“Through this tragedy, I believe that the two nations will become much closer to each other,” he said. “It is my earnest hope that the Japanese people will acquire the needed strength to quickly overcome their current calamities.”   (*)

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Posted by on March 21, 2011 in World News

 

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Photostream : South Korean President Lee Myung-bak pays tribute to Japanese earthquake victims

South Korean President Lee Myung-bak (front) pays respect to Japanese earthquake victims during his visit to the Japanese Embassy in Seoul on March 18. (Yonhap)

South Korean President Lee Myung-bak (L) expresses to Japanese Ambassador to Seoul Masatoshi Muto deep condolences for Japanese earthquake victims during his visit to the Japanese embassy in Seoul on March 18. (Yonhap)

Seen here is a condolence message that South Korean President Lee Myung-bak left during his visit to the Japanese embassy in Seoul on March 18 to pay respects to Japanese earthquake victims. It reads, "We, Korean people, offer deep condolences for victims. We are confident Japan will recover at an early time, and we, as the nearest neighbor, will be with you. March 18, 2011 Lee Myung-bak." (Yonhap)

 
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Posted by on March 19, 2011 in World News

 

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South Korean President arrives in UAE after emergency landing in Incheon

March 12, SEOUL, South Korea -- South Korea's President Lee Myung-bak (R) and first lady Kim Yoon-ok pose for photographers before boarding a presidential jet bound for the United Arab Emirates, where he plans to hold a summit with his UAE counterpart and work on energy diplomacy during his four-day stay. (Yonhap)

 

 

ABU DHABI, March 12 (KATAKAMI.COM) — South Korean President Lee Myung-bak arrived Saturday in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for a four-day visit that would focus on economic talks and expanding cooperation with the oil-rich country, officials said.

As reported by YONHAP News Agency on Saturday, President Lee is scheduled to hold summit talks on Sunday with UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan on strengthening cooperation in various sectors, including the economy, energy, construction, environment and health care, according to Cheong Wa Dae.  (*)

 
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Posted by on March 12, 2011 in World News

 

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South Korean President leaves for Abu Dhabi

South Korean President Lee Myung-Bak (pictured) has left for the United Arab Emirates, the presidential Blue House said, as part of Seoul's diplomatic drive to expand economic ties with the Middle East.

March 12, 2011 (KATAKAMI.COM)— South Korean President Lee Myung-Bak has left for the United Arab Emirates, the presidential Blue House said, as part of Seoul’s diplomatic drive to expand economic ties with the Middle East.

As reported by France 24 on Saturday, President Lee and President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahayan will have a summit on Sunday to discuss economic cooperation, especially in energy, construction, environment and health care sectors.

“The Middle East region is important in our development. The United Arab Emirates is significant as a bridgehead,” a senior official at the Blue House was quoted as saying by Yonhap news agency.

After arriving Abu Dhabi, Lee will head to the eastern town of Al Ain, where he will meet with some 130 South Korean troops, Yonhap said.

Seoul sent the special forces unit there in January for a two-year mission to help train the Middle East country’s commando units and conduct joint drills.

The troops’ dispatch came after South Korea won a 20.4-billion-dollar contract from Abu Dhabi in 2009 to construct nuclear reactors in the country.

Lee will also attend the ground-breaking ceremony for a nuclear power plant in Braka, some 300 kilometres (190 miles) west of Abu Dhabi, which will be developed with South Korean technology, Yonhap said.

During the four-day visit, Lee, accompanied by his wife Kim Yoon-Ok, will travel to Dubai on Monday to meet South Korean residents and receive the Zayed International Prize for the Environment.

The trip will be Lee’s second visit to Abu Dhabi since taking office in 2008. His previous trip was made in December 2009 when Seoul clinched the nuclear power plant deal.  (*)

 
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Posted by on March 12, 2011 in World News

 

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South Korea's president calls island attack an opportunity for change

A man watches a broadcast of South Korean President Lee Myung-Bak's New Year policy address in Seoul on Monday.

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January 3, 2011 (KATAKAMI / CNN) — South Korea’s president said Monday the country should respond to the attack on Yeonpyeong Island the same way the United States reacted to the September 11, 2001, attacks in New York — by using the event as an opportunity to reflect on security and overhaul the country’s defenses.

Speaking during his New Year’s address, President Lee Myung-bak called the November attack a turning point and warned North Korea that any future “provocations” would be met with “stern, strong responses.”

“The shelling of Yeonpyeong Island … served as an opportunity for us to reflect on our security readiness and overhaul our defense posture,” he said. “Peace cannot be obtained without a price.”

Tensions have been running high between North and South Korea ever since the sinking of the South Korean warship Cheonan last March, killing 46 sailors.

Full coverage of the Koreas’ conflict

South Korea and the international community blamed the North for the sinking, but Pyongyang has denied the accusations.

Last month, North Korea said the South’s navy fired into Northern waters and, in retaliation, it shelled Yeonpyeong Island, killing four South Koreans.

“We cannot let North Korea covet even an inch of our territory. Any provocation that would pose a threat to our lives and property will not be tolerated,” said Lee.

Over the weekend, officials in North Korea called for better ties with South Korea, according to South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency. North Korea urged dialogue and cooperation in 2011 and asked the South to end its military exercises.

South Korea’s president said in his televised address that North Korea needs to work toward peace with deeds as well as with words.

“I remind the North that the path toward peace is yet open. The door for dialogue is still open. If the North exhibits sincerity, we have both the will and the plan to drastically enhance economic cooperation together with the international community,” he said.

The U.S. special envoy for North Korea, Stephen Bosworth, is expected to travel to South Korea, China and Japan this week to discuss next steps on the Korean Peninsula. His first stop is Seoul. (*)

 
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Posted by on January 3, 2011 in World News

 

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South Korean President Lee Myung-bak says door for inter-Korean dialogue still open

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. 3 (KATAKAMI / Yonhap) — South Korean President Lee Myung-bak said Monday that the door for inter-Korean dialogue remains open but North Korea should first show its seriousness about the talks.

“I remind the North that the path toward peace is yet open. The door for dialogue is still open,” Lee said in his New Year’s address broadcast live.  (*)

 
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Posted by on January 3, 2011 in World News

 

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

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)

Please also visit : KATAKAMI.COM and INDONESIAKATAKAMI.BLOGSPOT.COM

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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Posted by on January 1, 2011 in World News

 

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