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(LEAD) Park meets S. Korean residents in Mongolia

All News 17:25 July 17, 2016

(ATTN: CHANGES photo; UPDATES with Park's remarks in paras 3-7)
By Song Sang-ho

ULAANBAATAR, July 17 (Yonhap) -- President Park Geun-hye on Sunday met with South Korean residents in Mongolia to offer them encouragement and ask them to continue their efforts to strengthen relations between the two nations.

Park, who is currently on a two-day official visit to Mongolia, held the meeting with more than 70 South Korean residents who have contributed to enhancing the image of South Korea through an array of volunteer and economic activities.

During the meeting, Park stressed the importance of "unity" among all South Koreans in coping with a slew of social, economic and security challenges facing South Korea.

"Before us, we have many tasks such as revitalizing the economy, creating jobs, addressing the issue of the low-birth rate, enhancing the welfare and tackling North Korea's nuclear issue," she said.

"None of these issues seems to be easy. But I believe in the strength of the unity of our citizens," she added, underscoring that the "blood and sweat of the people and the enterprising spirits of overseas Koreans" have been the driving force behind South Korea's growth and stability.

Park also called on the residents to support the government's "Eurasia Initiative," pointing to the "strategic importance" of Mongolia. The initiative seeks to build a single, united Eurasia through increased links in transport, infrastructure, IT and other sectors.

"As Mongolia, which is strategically located on the Eurasian continent, is of critical importance, I hope that you can offer your support for the government's efforts (to push for the Eurasia Initiative)."

There are some 3,000 South Korean residents in Mongolia. They run restaurants or manage tourism, trade, construction, real estate and various other businesses.

Many of them have engaged in volunteer programs to provide food aid to low-income families, and support single mothers, orphans and the physically challenged in Mongolia.

They have also contributed to improving Mongolia's tertiary education by establishing three universities in the country -- the International University of Ulaanbaatar, Huree University of ICT and Mongolia International University.

During the meeting, Park pledged to further enhance the government's consular services tailored for residents in the country. She also asked them to ensure unity among South Koreans here.


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