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Park's regional tour focused on economy: presidential spokesman

All News 11:21 March 11, 2016

SEOUL, March 11 (Yonhap) -- President Park Geun-hye's latest trip to her political powerbase of Daegu was focused on the economy, not politics, an official said Friday.

Presidential spokesman Jeong Yeon-guk told reporters that Park did not meet with any politicians and she had a tight schedule with a series of economic events in Daegu, an industrial city located about 300 kilometers southeast of Seoul.

On Thursday, Park toured an innovation center and an international textile fair in the city before meeting with officials to talk about how to boost the local sports industry.

She also attended the opening ceremony for a new office building of the North Gyeongsang Provincial government in Andong, about an 80-minute drive from Daegu.

The presidential office said Thursday that the trip is designed to help spread the accomplishments of the creative economy, referring to Park's key policy objective that calls for boosting the economy by turning creative ideas into real businesses with the help of cutting-edge science, expertise and information technology.

Still, critics claimed that Park's visit to Daegu may be aimed at giving a boost to pro-Park candidates, who are trailing behind their rivals in the ruling Saenuri Party in opinion polls.

The ruling party has been mired in infighting between those who are loyal to Park and others who have been at odds with the president over who will win nominations for the April 13 parliamentary elections.


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