Park seeks a new image for her father’s Saemaul

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Park seeks a new image for her father’s Saemaul

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President Park Geun-hye, right, at the 2013 National Saemaul Leader Convention held in Suncheon, South Jeolla, yesterday. [NEWSIS]

President Park Geun-hye proposed a new direction for her father’s Saemaul movement in a speech in South Jeolla yesterday, calling for a “community movement, creative movement and global movement.”

Forty-three years ago, President Park Chung Hee mapped out Korea’s rural program in an effort to spur rapid growth in the 1970s and 1980s.

“The Saemaul movement was a spiritual revolution that has entirely changed our contemporary history,” Park said in a speech at the 2013 National Saemaul Leader Convention at the Palma Stadium in Suncheon, South Jeolla, yesterday. “With a strong will to ‘live well all together,’ we made a heroic story of success together.

“I think this spirit of the Saemaul movement could contribute to building a new and positive nation, overcoming all the challenges we face today,” she continued. “This is a time for us to be together and revive the spirit of the Saemaul movement for the second ‘miracle on the Han River.’

“We expect you to revise the content and the action plans of the Saemaul movement in your own way and turn it into a future-oriented, revolutionary movement for a more developed sense of citizenship,” she said.

“The spirit of the Saemaul movement was living well ‘all together,’ not only alone,” Park said. “The restoration of the spirit of the community is an urgent task for us.”

When it comes to the “global movement,” she urged people to promote the campaign worldwide.

“The Saemaul movement is now becoming a hope for many countries in the world,” she said. “From now on, the government will push forward with a project to develop the Saemaul movement into an international program.”

Yesterday, Park made her second trip to South Jeolla since her inauguration. Before she attended the Saemaul movement convention, she toured the 2013 Suncheon Bay Garden Expo, which ended yesterday. Her first trip to the region was on May 18, when she visited the ceremony to commemorate the victims of the Gwangju massacre of 1980.

BY Heo JIN [heejin@joongang.co.kr]

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