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Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Lech Kaczyński met with the President of the Republic of South Korea

south korea

On Wednesday, Lech Kaczyński met with the President of South Korea, Lee Myung-bak.

The Polish President, during a press conference which followed the meeting, emphasized that it is possible to establish close political cooperation between the two countries based on their common interests, in addition to the already-established economic and cultural cooperation between them.

The Presidents on the Nuclear Threat

"Both Poland and South Korea wish for a system to be established for purposes of responding to possible North Korean threats and that the policy pertaining to such matters be made firm," the Polish President said.

The Korean leader added that he and Lech Kaczyński discussed the possibility of a peaceful resolution of the nuclear issue. The world's interest in the situation on the Korean Peninsula has increased significantly after North Korea conducted an underground nuclear test and tested six short-range ballistic missiles at the end of May.

One of the main subjects of the discussions between Lee Myung-bak and Lech Kaczyński was economic cooperation. This subject included matters such as the construction of an LNG terminal, fighter/trainer aircrafts and atomic power plants.

Korean Atomic Power Plants in Poland

Lee Myung-bak confirmed his earlier statement and said that South Korea wishes to cooperate with Poland in constructing an atomic power plant and an LNG terminal. Lech Kaczyński answered that he is also in favour of establishing close political and economic cooperation between Poland and South Korea but he added that in Poland the final decision concerning economic cooperation belongs to the government.

“The issue of atomic power plants has much developed during the last six months. When I paid my last visit to South Korea, the Polish government had not yet made a decision concerning the construction of two such plants in Poland. Today the decision has already been taken and Korea has made an offer, one of which I already knew before,” the Polish President said.

The President of South Korea confirmed that his country is capable of offering Poland a lot, as far as experience in constructing gas terminals is concerned. He emphasised that his country plays a very important role in the world with regard to atomic power plants, having executed projects for such plants for many years.

Lee Myung-bak added that South Korea not only has experience in constructing such plants but also could provide help in constructing them. “South Korea can offer Poland such unique services and I think Poland would benefit from them,” he said.

Poland as an Intermediary between Korea and the EU

Lech Kaczyński, during the press conference held on Wednesday, said that South Korea has proposed to make Poland a place from which the expansive, in the positive sense of the word, Korean capital could operate within the EU and in Russia.

“The proposal seems very interesting, provided that the range of this operation of the Korean capital in Poland will be considerable enough,” the Polish President presented his opinion pertaining to the matter.

The Presidents on the Free Trade Agreement

The two presidents have emphasized the importance of concluding a Free Trade Agreement between South Korea and the EU. “Poland is obviously in favour of concluding such an solution,” Lech Kaczyński stated. “I hope that this agreement will have a positive influence on our bilateral relations. I know that our mutual investments will benefit from the agreement,” Lee Myung-bak said.

The Korean President said that his country considers Poland not only an important economic partner but also a true friend. According to him, South Korea can learn much from Poland which, as he said, has a profound parliamentary tradition.

In his assessment, his visit to Poland was highly constructive and it will facilitate developing a new pattern of cooperation between Poland and South Korea.

Pan Tadeusz (Mister Thaddeus) in Korean

Lech Kaczyński reminded the audience that when he was in Seoul he received counterparts of the Korean translation of Pan Tadeusz and of poems by Zbigniew Herbert. In Seoul, Polish Philology can be studied at the university.

What was served at the official dinner?

After a one-on-one meeting of the presidents and their plenary talks, the Polish President and his wife held an official dinner for the President of South Korea and his wife.

As the appetizer, crayfish necks mousse was served. The main course was porcini cream soup and roasted duck with apples. The dessert was strawberry tart.

This is a return visit of the Korean President – Lech Kaczyński spent several days in the Far East, visiting places such as Seoul, in December last year. Year 2009 also marks the 20th anniversary of the commencement of diplomatic relations between Poland and South Korea.

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