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Mayor of Seoul seeks to model Los Angeles in emergency preparedness

 

Park Won-soon visited Los Angeles this past weekend to learn more about the city's plans in cases of emergency disasters. Courtesy Photo
Park Won-soon visited Los Angeles this past weekend to learn more about the city’s plans in cases of emergency disasters. Courtesy Photo

The mayor of South Korea’s capital said in remarks reported today that he wants his city of 10 million people to look to Los Angeles to better deal with crises requiring emergency responses.

Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon was in Los Angeles this weekend, looking to tap the city’s expertise on emergency preparedness, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Recalling the April disaster in which a ferry sank off South Korea’s south coast, killing more than 300 people, Park said he wanted to take cues from Los Angeles to ensure his city is better prepared to handle crises, The Times reported.

“Many mistakes and systematic problems were involved in that accident,” Park told The Times in an interview. “As manager of this big metropolitan city, I’m really in charge. I feel a strong sense of responsibility.”

Park said that because of earthquakes, fires and other natural disasters facing the region, Los Angeles is well-positioned to serve as a guide for Seoul.

Park, who began his second term as mayor of South Korea’s capital in July and is often cited as a future presidential contender, visited Los Angeles’ emergency operations center, the Los Angeles Fire Department, Dodger Stadium and the site of Korean Air’s future downtown skyscraper to survey disaster plans, according to The Times.

Los Angeles was the last stop on his whirlwind U.S. tour, which included the United Nations climate summit in New York.

Park met with L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti, and they discussed initiatives to increase trade and tourism between the cities. The two mayors will put finishing touches on a memorandum of understanding when Garcetti visits Seoul in November, Park told The Times.

Park also said met with Hollywood producers and directors to court them to film in Seoul, and he cited the shooting of the movie “Avengers: Age of Ultron” in his city earlier this year, The Times reported. He said officials in his city are in talks with the filmmakers behind the next “Star Trek” movie to film there.

The Seoul Metropolitan Government said today it is ready financially support foreign movie production companies that seek filming locations in the capital, The Korea Times reported. It said it will provide up to 100 million won ($95,000) to film productions that film in Seoul for more than six days.

Seoul’s government also will pay for the hotel stay and airline tickets for movie production company executives who visit the South Korean capital with plans to feature it as a location, according to the Korea Times.

On Sunday, the Korea Times reported, Park visited Paramount Pictures studio in Los Angeles to meet Jeffrey Chernov, the producer of “Star Trek,” and Roberto Orci, the director of  “Star Trek 3” which will be screened in 2016.

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