In U.S., Park and Obama will adopt declaration

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In U.S., Park and Obama will adopt declaration

President Park Geun-hye, who embarks Sunday on her first U.S. visit after taking office, will adopt a joint declaration with U.S. President Barack Obama next week to upgrade cooperation between the two countries, which celebrate 60 years of alliance this year.

“Marking the 60th anniversary of the alliance, a new joint declaration will be announced by Korea and the U.S. on the future direction of the two countries’ bilateral ties,” said Blue House spokesman Yoon Chang-jung.

The declaration will be made as Park holds her first summit with Obama at the White House Tuesday as a part of a six-day journey to three cities: New York, Washington and Los Angeles.

“The joint declaration will include key points to roadmap the development of bilateral relations looking toward the next several decades to surpass the joint vision for the Korea-U.S. alliance [of June 2009 adopted by President Lee Myung-bak and Obama],” Yoon said.

Park is expected to also explain her two-track approach of dealing with North Korea, combining firmness and confidence-building measures. The two presidents are expected to show a united front in the face of Pyongyang’s continued threats of war.

The U.S. visit marks Park’s first trip abroad since her inauguration. She and Obama will discuss key bilateral issues as they try to upgrade the two countries’ global partnership. They are expected to discuss denuclearization of North Korea, the bilateral nuclear agreement which was recently extended two years, stability in Northeast Asia, the Korea-U.S. free trade agreement that celebrated its one-year anniversary in March, enhancement of economic and trade cooperation and climate change.

Park will also be accompanied by the largest-ever presidential business delegation on a trip abroad. Her 51-member business leader delegation, which includes an unprecedentedly large number of smaller enterprises and start-ups, will also include top conglomerate chairmen: Samsung Group Chairman Lee Kun-hee, Hyundai Motor Chairman Chung Mong-koo, LG Chairman Koo Bon-moo and Posco Chairman Chung Joon-yang.

They will participate in a roundtable luncheon hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and a banquet celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Korea-U.S. alliance in Washington.

The business delegation’s main message is that South Korea is a safe investment destination.

Park arrives in New York Sunday and will visit United Nations headquarters and speak with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and hold an interview with CBS before departing for Washington Monday.

Along with the presidential summit Tuesday in Washington, Park will also meet with World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim and visit Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia. On Wednesday, she will address the U.S. Congress.

Park wraps up the tour in Los Angeles, where she will meet start-up business leaders Thursday.

By Sarah Kim [sarahkim@joongang.co.kr]

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