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Arirang Special’s July 21 episode, “Solongos, Hope for Mongolia” featured an exclusive interview with Mongolia’s former president, Mr. Punsalmaagiin Ochirbat.
The Mongolian word solongos, refers to Korea and it means the land of rainbows. Even President Park commented at a business forum on her state visit that Solongos will be Mongolia's partner.
This 40-minute long program touched upon subjects such as Mongolia’s experience in making the transition to capitalism after the pro-democracy movement, its cooperation with Korea, its policy on North Korea as well as its support for the unification of the Korean Peninsula. It also expressed Mongolia’s hope for a mutually beneficial and future-oriented economic cooperation with Korea.
Former president Ochirbat expressed his full support for President Park’s Eurasia Initiative and commented that it is a good way for Korea, which heavily relies upon marine transportation, and Mongolia, a landlocked country, to secure export routes to Europe. He also pointed out that North Korea's role was critical in this endeavor and stated that North Korea must revitalize its economy by giving up nuclear weapons and implementing an open economy like Mongolia. He stressed that it is anachronistic to think to ensure its national security with nuclear weapons and that national interest must be furthered through economic power in the 21st century.
He suggested that recovering the sense of solidarity as one people through communication and cultural exchanges must come first rather than political pressures in order to achieve the unification of the Korean Peninsula and also commented that in Mongolia they host Korean Song Singing Contest to strengthen that ethnic ties.
More details available in July 21 episode of Arirang Special.