President Park arrives in London for state visit
President Park's state visit to Britain will officially start on Tuesday with a welcoming ceremony at Buckingham Palace, with Queen Elizabeth in attendance.
She becomes the second Korean leader to make a state visit to Britain, following former late president Roh Moo-hyun back in 2004.
"Taking into account that Britain only invites leaders from as many as two countries a year, the presidential office of Cheong Wa Dae says President Park's state visit reflects the close ties that bind Korea and Britain."
The president is scheduled to attend a groundbreaking ceremony for a Korean War veterans memorial, with this year marking the 60th anniversary of the armistice between the two Koreas, and the 130th anniversary since Korea and Britain established diplomatic ties.
She will also meet with British lawmakers from the upper and lower chambers of British parliament and hold a luncheon and a dinner with Queen Elizabeth, which is expected to be the highlight of her state visit.
Before heading to London on Monday, President Park held bilateral talks with French President Francois Hollande in Paris.
Topping the summit agenda was strengthening cooperation in the so-called "creative industry."
In particular, the two leaders agreed to quickly sign a deal for a joint project between Korea's LG Chemical and French car manufacturer Renault to develop an electric vehicle that could run up to 4-hundred kilometers when fully charged.
Another sector of cooperation is in finance.
Presidents Park and Hollande promised to cooperate in providing financial and insurance support to Korean and French companies when carrying out joint projects in third markets, such as Africa and the Middle East.
A total of four MOUs have been signed with that in mind during President Park's stay in Paris.
To strengthen the cooperative network for businessmen in both countries, the two sides also agreed to simplify the process of visa issuance.
It currently takes about three months for a businessman to get a visa, but the two countries now aim to reduce this period to one month by the year 2014.
Eoh Jin-joo, Arirang News, London.
Reporter : firstname.lastname@example.org