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S,Korean president meets with Microsoft founder Gates

S,Korean president meets with Microsoft founder Gates

SEOUL, April 22 (Yonhap) -- President Park Geun-hye met with Microsoft founder Bill Gates on Monday where she was expected to seek advice from the technology czar about her vision to use information technology as the main tool to boost economic growth.

   Park has often mentioned Gates and late Apple founder Steve Jobs as examples while pitching her "creative economy" initiative that calls for creating new markets and jobs by developing innovative technologies in the information and communications sector and then combining them with other areas.

   "I have made such remarks like 'As examples of talents we need in our times, there are people like Chairman Gates' and I am pleased to meet with you today," Park said at the start of the meeting, adding that she feels like she has known Gates for a long time.

   Park also praised Gates for his efforts to end poverty around the world, saying that if there were more people like him, it may be possible "to realize a world all of us dream of."

   Details of their discussion were not immediately made available.

   In a separate meeting with Seoul's Trade and Commerce Minister Yoon Sang-jick earlier in the day, Gates stressed the importance of developing new energy sources.

   "At the meeting, Bill Gates said he has long considered ways to resolve the world's energy issue, noting nuclear power was an important source of cheap energy that also does not produce carbon dioxide," the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said in a press release.

   Gates, however, said nuclear reactors must become much safer and more efficient without causing problems of proliferation.

   "He explained the traveling wave reactor (TWR), in which he is investing to develop, could be an answer to solve such issues," the ministry said.

   A TWR is a next-generation reactor still being developed that is designed to be able to use fuel without enrichment or reprocessing.

   Yoon said his government, too, was working to develop new and clean energy sources, and that safety was its top priority in its operation of nuclear reactors, according to the ministry.

   After stepping down as CEO of Microsoft, Gates has been focusing on helping people in developing countries in Africa and other parts of the world through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

   The foundation is also a big contributor to the Seoul-based International Vaccine Institute (IVI), an international organization devoted exclusively to vaccine research and development for poor populations in developing countries.

   Gates arrived in South Korea on Saturday for a three-day visit that also included meetings with senior officials at Samsung Electronics and Hyundai Motor as well as a visit to Seoul National University.

   Earlier Monday, he delivered a lecture at the National Assembly, stressing that South Korea should provide more aid to developing countries without forgetting when it was a recipient nation.

   About 40 lawmakers from the ruling and opposition parties attended the lecture.

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22-4-2013 17:08

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