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SEOUL, April 4 (Yonhap) -- President Park Geun-hye said Thursday that development projects should be carried out in a way that does not conflict with environmental interests after sufficiently collecting views from the public and thoroughly verifying their costs.
Park made the remark during a joint policy briefing by the Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, referring to the highly contentious project carried out by her predecessor Lee Myung-bak to refurbish the country's four major rivers.
"I believe that values of the economy and the environment, and those of development and preservation should no longer be in conflict. We have to come up with measures to resolve these kinds of conflict," Park said during the briefing held at the central administrative city of Sejong.
"Whether it be development or environment, the purpose is to improve the lives of the people."
Park said she wants the two ministries to collaborate creatively as partners so as to change the paradigms of development and the environment. That is why the joint briefing was organized, she said.
She also called for the government to sufficiently collect views from experts and the public, and rigorously check necessary costs before pushing ahead with expensive development or environment preservation projects.
Presidential spokesman Yoon Chang-jung said that Park also called for curbing greenhouse gas emissions, saying tackling climate change is an essential task for the future of not only South Korea, but all of humankind.
Park said that upgrading environmental technologies aimed at curbing emissions of heat-trapping gases would also lead to job creation. She also instructed officials to make sure to take follow-up measures to host the Green Climate Fund, according to the spokesman.
Later, Park also attended the opening ceremony for the new headquarters of the South Chungcheong provincial government in the city of Naepo, about 100 km south of Seoul. The provincial government's headquarters was relocated from the city of Daejeon.
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