President Park begins week-long Central Asia tourUpdated: 2014-06-16 20:11:32 (KST)
President Park has started her tour of Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan this week.
In Tashkent, the Korean president and her Uzbek counterpart will seek ways to bolster their strategic partnership.
There are currently some eight billion U.S. dollars worth of joint projects underway, such as a gas field development and chemical complex construction, and Seoul hopes to go beyond into areas of renewable energy and textiles.
President Park, who has proposed an initiative that would link energy and infrastructure in Eurasia, will also visit Samarkand, a city that was at the heart of the Silk Road.
In Astana, the Korean leader and her Kazak counterpart will discuss current projects worth roughly 10 billion dollars, including construction of a thermal plant and petrochemical complex.
Seoul will sign a deal to participate in Astana's rail development, with hopes it will lay the groundwork for President Park's Eurasia Initiative.
There will be talks on the North Korea nuclear issue, since Kazakhstan achieved significant growth after voluntarily giving up its nuclear arms.
President Park will be visiting Turkmenistan for the first time as a Korean leader, where she plans to ask the country to support Korean firms seeking to participate in large-scale infrastructure projects in the gas-rich nation.
"After President Park landed in the Uzbek capital several hours ago, President Islam Karimov escorted her to where she'll be staying for the next three days. Before the two leaders' summit on Tuesday, President Park will meet with Koreans, as well as ethnic Koreans residing here, to pledge her support for active cultural exchanges with the region.
Choi You-sun, Arirang News, Tashkent."
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