Leaders of South Korea, Germany discuss inter-Korean reunification, boosting Seoul-Berlin tiesUpdated: 2014-03-27 03:43:07 KST
We begin this morning in Germany where President Park Geun-hye is on her state visit.
With the issue of reunification high on her agenda, the South Korean president met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday.
For details on those talks and what else the president has been doing in Berlin let's now connect live to our correspondent Choi You-sun who is traveling with the president.
As expected, the reunification issue on the Korean peninsula took up a large portion of their discussion.
At a joint press conference, Chancellor Merkel said Germany, which has gone through unification itself, is responsible for supporting the two Koreas' will to reunite, and that Seoul and Berlin are discussing the issue.
When asked about President Park's recent description of reunification on the Korean peninsula as a "bonanza," Merkel said Germany's unification was, in fact, a bonanza.
Herself from the communist east, Merkel said she witnessed the lives of more than 17 million East Germans change after the fall of the Berlin Wall.
She advised Koreans on both sides of the border to be open to and understanding of each other, and prepare for the economic aftermath of reunification.
President Park also garnered Merkel's support behind her trust-building policies towards North Korea, at the same time urging Pyongyang to give up its nuclear weapons program.
On the economic front, the two leaders agreed to sign a cooperation agreement related to innovation, such as fuel cell production and electric car batteries.
There will also be more cooperation between the two sides' small and mid-sized firms, in vocational training, and science and technology.
Sounds like they got through a lot. What else has President Park been been up to in the German capital?
Earlier in the day, she met with German President Joachim Gauck, who has shown a great interest in inter-Korean reunification.
President Gauck was a human rights and democratization activist in the former East Germany.
Both leaders shared concerns about human rights violations prevalent inside North Korea.
President Park also visited the Brandenburg Gate, a landmark in Berlin symbolic of German unification.
Here, she is thought to have reflected on her reunification drive.
And if you look at President Park's itinerary in Germany, you can see that reunification is the main theme of this visit.
On Thursday here, she will meet with former German officials who played leading roles in German unification and ask for their advice.
The following day, the president is scheduled to speak at a university in Dresden, where she's widely expected to lay out details of her reunification policy.
Alright You-sun, thank-you for that.
That was our presidential office correspondent Choi You-sun reporting on President Park's discussions with German Chancellor Angela Merkel about inter-Korean reunification and boosting Seoul-Berlin ties.
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