S. Korean president meets with U.N. secretary general

September 23, 2014
Park Geun-hye, Ban Ki-moon

South Korean President Park Geun-hye talks to U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. (Yonhap)

(Yonhap) — South Korean President Park Geun-hye met with U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon as she arrived in New York to address the U.N. General Assembly and discuss with top global leaders on climate change and other global challenges .

Park flew from Ottawa after concluding a three-day state visit that was culminated in a signing of a free trade deal.

Ban, a former South Korean foreign minister, called Park’s visit to Canada a success. Park said there were “twists and turns,” noting it took nine years before the two sides signed the deal that could boost trade and investment ties across the Pacific.

Park made the comments in a closed-door banquet held in her honor at Ban’s official residence on the first day of her three-day visit to New York.

On Tuesday, Park plans to attend the U.N. climate summit meant to galvanize action on cutting emissions of heat-trapping gases that scientists blame for global warming.

South Korea has vowed to try to bridge differences between advanced and developing countries in combating climate change.

South Korea has also made a voluntary commitment to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent from business-as-usual levels by 2020.

Seoul made the pledge in 2009, despite not being subject to a mandatory reduction requirement under the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, an international deal aimed at fighting global warming.

Park also plans to address the U.N. General Assembly on Wednesday with a call for peace on the divided Korean Peninsula and in the Asian region.

In addition, Park plans to attend the U.N. Security Council summit scheduled to discuss the issue of foreign fighters who have joined the terrorist organization known as the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq.

U.S. President Barack Obama, who is set to host the summit, has recently vowed to degrade and ultimately destroy IS, which has occupied large parts of northern Iraq and Syria.