President underscores implementation of Dresden initiative
Posted : 2014-08-07 17:01
Updated : 2014-08-07 19:10
By Yi Whan-woo
President Park Geun-hye
President Park Geun-hye stressed the need to implement her Dresden initiatives Thursday, as part of South Korea's efforts toward unification of the two Koreas.
She said the preparatory committee for inter-Korea unification should serve as a control tower for that purpose.
"Our unification policy should be more than integration of the two Koreas. Instead it should serve as a growth engine for the Korean people to take a great leap forward," Park said during the committee's first meeting at Cheong Wa Dae.
"The committee therefore should serve as a control tower to implement the Dresden proposals and I hope it guides the country to the right path.
"To this end, I urge the committee to map out concrete and various plans," she added.
Park serves as the chair of the presidential committee. It was launched on July 15 to discuss plans for inter-Korean unification, which she said would be a "bonanza" for both Koreas as well as a blessing for the neighboring countries.
The 50-member committee is working on a blueprint for unification based on the President's Dresden Declaration. The members include 11 high-ranking government officials, such as ministers, six state-run think tank researchers and 30 private experts.
In a speech during her March visit to Dresden, Germany, Park unveiled initiatives for humanity, co-prosperity and integration on the Korean Peninsula. They include South Korea's infrastructure-building investments and building of multi-farming complexes in North Korea, collaborative projects with China and Russia, and joint natural resource development projects.
At Thursday's meeting, she called for lending support to North Korea to build a civil infrastructure system.
"Infrastructure building in the North is meaningful for humanitarian reasons," she said.
"It's crucial to bring all Korean people together for co-prosperity, and our efforts will eventually serve as a steppingstone for the post-unification era," she added.
In particular, Park suggested setting up an inter-Korea railway, improving living conditions in residential areas and expanding road networks for North Korea.
The President also underscored the importance of inter-Korean ties in terms of culture and arts as well as sports, saying such ties should be "preceded by eased tension on the Korean Peninsula."
"It would be very meaningful and effective to set up a park in the Demilitarized Zone, which has been the symbol of tension and hostility between the two Koreas.
"The park will deliver a message of peace to the international community in our steps toward unification," she said.
Saying that public consent is essential to carry out unification policies, the President proposed drawing out the people's support and holding public discussions involving citizens.
"It's possible that our people, as well as people from our neighboring countries, will have concerns over our steps toward inter-Korean integration," she said.
"And we must share our vision that unification will be a blessing for all."