China, Japan Congratulate Park's Presidential VictoryUpdated: 2012-12-21 00:00:00 (KST)
South Korea's next door neighbor Japan was one of the first few countries to congratulate the new president-elect Park Geun-hye on her victory.
[Interview : Hirokazu Shiba, Senior Vice Secretary General
Democratic Party of Japan] "Sincere congratulations to the president-elect, Park Geun-hye. We hope for Korea's continued development under the new president."
Japan's incoming Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said that he will communicate closely with Park, and has put off his plan to elevate the country's Takeshima Day ceremony,.. held for a group of disputed islands also claimed by Korea, to a government level event.
The Japanese media has reported that Abe canceled the plan in an effort to improve Korea-Japan relations which have soured over several historical and geographical disputes.
Meanwhile, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said President Hu Jintao sent a congratulatory message to the new president-elect, while expressing his hope for a better relationship between Seoul and Pyongyang.
[Interview : Hua Chun Ying, Spokesperson
Chinese Foreign Ministry] "China supports the two Koreas improving their relations through continued dialogue, and ultimately achieving an independent, peaceful reunification."
When it comes to foreign policy and inter-Korean relations, the Chinese media have also echoed the anticipation for a more lenient stance from Park Geun-hye, compared to that of the Lee Myung-bak administration,. highlighting Park's pledges to provide humanitarian aid to North Korea and resuming inter-Korean dialogue.
Kim Han-ul, Arirang News.
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