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S. Korea sets up new gov't team to promote Saemaeul Movement

All News 14:59 June 06, 2016

SEOUL, June 6 (Yonhap) -- South Korea will set up a special team that will systematically promote the spread of its rural development Saemaeul Movement in foreign countries, the government said Monday.

According to the Ministry of Interior, the governmental team will move to establish a long-term road map to spread the initiative that has been lauded for mobilizing South Korean villagers to modernize the country's rural areas in the past that played a part in significant agricultural productivity growth.

The movement translates into the "New Village Movement" in English, and is a government-led initiative launched in the 1970s under then President Park Chung-hee, that places importance on diligence, self-help and cooperation to generate growth and create better living conditions for people in rural areas. The late chief executive was the father of incumbent President Park Geun-hye.

The new team will come up with country-specific strategies to promote the movement as well as formulating a unified training program, the ministry said.

"To facilitate its spread inter-agency cooperation will be expanded," it said, adding that Saemaeul pilot villages will be created in East Timor and Kyrgyzstan.

The ministry, meanwhile, said that following the recent visit by President Park to Ethiopia and Uganda, it plans to expand invitation of people from these countries who want to learn about the development program.

The president inked memorandums of understanding with the two countries to expand Saemaeul-related cooperation in Africa.

Seoul, meanwhile, plans to host a global Saemaeul movement leaders' meeting in October that will allow foreign government officials and international group representatives to meet and exchange views on future strategies for the initiative.

yonngong@yna.co.kr
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