U.S. President Barak Obama
During his candidacy period and after he was elected, U.S. President Barak Obama on several occasions mentioned South Korea as a model for other developing countries to learn from. Now he did it again.
In the G8 Summit in L'Aquila, Italy, where Africa and food security were the top agenda on the last day of the G8 Summit on Friday, Obama said African countries should learn from South Korea's successful experience of developing economy, Hankook Ilbo reported Saturday.
When a reporter asked Obama whether his proposal of expanding food subsidies to poor countries has to do with the fact that he has relatives in the African country, Kenya, Obama responded: "In fact, Kenya was a more affluent country than South Korea when my father first came to the States to study (in 1950)."
"At that time, Kenya's per capita GDP was higher than that of South Korea. But South Korea is now a developed and affluent country, while Kenya still remains in severe poverty."
Obama said: "There is no reason African countries cannot do what South Korea did."
During his earlier visit to Egypt on May 4, Obama also mentioned South Korea, saying "Countries like South Korea and Japan have achieved great economic growth, while preserving their own unique culture."
In March, while presenting America's new educational vision, Obama urged American students to study harder like Korean students. In February, he also remarked highly of South Korea's technology, saying America's hybrid cars are run on the battery made in South Korea.