Park meets Stanford delegation

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Park meets Stanford delegation


President Park Geun-hye attends a meeting at the Blue House with a delegation on a visit to Seoul from Stanford University’s Asia-Pacific research center. From left: Siegfried Hecker, Michael Armacost, President Park, Kathleen Stephens, Yun Duk-min and David Straub. [NEWSIS]

President Park Geun-hye yesterday met with a delegation on a visit to Seoul from Stanford University’s Asia-Pacific research center and asked them to share their expertise regarding peace and security on the Korean Peninsula and in Northeast Asia.

“I gave a speech at Stanford University in May 2009, and [the speech] has recently become an issue,” Park said, welcoming the 10 academics. “I keep a good memory of it.”

The delegates were in Seoul to attend the 11th Korea-U.S. West Coast Strategic Forum, co-hosted by the Korea National Diplomatic Academy and Stanford University.

As president-elect, Park advocated “capitalism with firm principles” in a speech at Stanford, emphasizing the importance of community interests, corporate ethics, as well as the reinforcement of government and the protection of the economically weak.

Her remarks had a ripple effect in the political community, contradicting what conservatives, including President Lee Myung-bak, stood for at the time. Analysts have argued that her speech at Stanford hugely contributed to her victory in the presidential election last year.

“The Korean Peninsula and Northeast Asia need alternative perspectives on peace and security,” she continued. “Academics who have long studied the issues are here at an optimal time. I expect you can offer a valuable opinion.”

The delegation included Kathleen Stephens, the former U.S. ambassador to Korea from 2008 to 2011 who is now a fellow with the Korean Studies Program at Stanford University’s Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center; Shin Gi-wook, the director of the Korean Studies Program; Michael Armacost, the former U.S. ambassador to Japan and a fellow at the research center; and Karl Eikenberry, a former U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan and a fellow focusing on international security at the Center for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford.

Ju Chul-ki, senior secretary to the president for foreign affairs and national security, and Yun Duk-min, chancellor of the Korea National Diplomatic Academy, were also present.

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