S. Korea's Lee draws rosy picture of New Year

10:28, January 01, 2011      

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South Korean President Lee Myung-bak started the year 2011 on a hopeful note in his New Year's message released Saturday, putting the turbulent year behind him.

Despite "some difficulties," the country had "many more pleasing and rewarding events" attributable to "painstaking efforts" of South Koreans, Lee said without elaboration.

"In the New Year of 2011, I am confident that we will be able to establish peace on the Korean Peninsula and continue sustained economic growth," the president said.

He recently hinted at a possible about-face in his hard-line stance on the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), calling for inter-Korean dialogue and expressing his support for resuming the stalled talks on the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula.

The president also touched upon the possibility of reunification with the DPRK in the not too distant future.

Tensions on the Korean Peninsula were heightened after South Korea and the DPRK exchanged fire near Yeonpyeong Island on Nov. 23, which resulted in the death of four South Korean citizens.

Source: Xinhua
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