by REERA YOO
This past weekend, Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon visited Los Angeles to tap the city’s expertise on emergency preparedness, reported The Los Angeles Times.
Park, a potential presidential candidate who began his second term as mayor of Seoul in July, visited Los Angeles’ emergency operations center, the Los Angeles Fire Department, Dodger Stadium and the site of Korean Air’s future downtown skyscraper to learn more about the city’s disaster plans.
Recalling the Sewol ferry disaster, which killed more than 300 passengers in April, Park stated that he was looking to Los Angeles’ expertise on handling crises to ensure Seoul is better prepared to respond to emergencies.
“Many mistakes and systematic problems were involved in that accident,” Park told the L.A. Times. “As manager of this big metropolitan city, I’m really in charge. I feel a strong sense of responsibility.”
He added that Los Angeles would serve as a valuable guide for Seoul due to its predisposition to natural disasters such as earthquakes and fires.
In addition to surveying disaster plans, Park also spoke with L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti about increasing trade and tourism between the two cities. The two mayors will discuss more initiatives when Garcetti visits Seoul in November.
According to The Korea Herald, Park also met with Hollywood producers and directors during his trip to promote Seoul as a film site for future movies, particularly for the third installment of Star Trek, which is slated to be released in 2016.
Photo courtesy of Jay L. Clendenin/Los Angeles Times