South Korean President Kim Dae-jung arrived in London on Tuesday to attend the two-day Asia-Europe Meeting or ASEM in what is his first trip abroad since he took office on February 25.
Kim is expected to reiterate his firm commitment to reforms promised to the International Monetary Fund and he will try to enhance South Korea's national credibility.
His popularity at home is high due to signs that the economy may make a quick recovery but analysts caution that unless major reforms happen soon, another crisis is inevitable.
Hoping to attract foreign investment, President Kim Dae-jung arrived in London on Tuesday on what aides described as a "salesman's trip" to a meeting of European and Asian leaders.
Kim's attendance at the two-day Asia-Europe Meeting, or ASEM, in London starting on Friday will be his first get-together with world leaders since he took office on February 25.
"I will ask for cooperation to further the pursuit for mutual benefit at the meeting."
SUPER CAPTION: South Korean President Kim Dae-jung
The first opposition leader to take power in South Korea, Kim has promised to become a "salesman president" to revive South Korea's battered economy.
He will also explain Seoul's new efforts to promote peace with rival North Korea.
Economic recovery has been the primary concern for President Kim Dae-jung since he took office last month.
He has been instrumental in bringing back international confidence in South Korea since it called in the I-M-F in December for a bail out.
One of his top priorities has been to attract foreign investment.
He met with the C-E-O of Intel Craig Barrett whose company made a commitment to invest between 5-hundred (m) million U-S dollars to 1 (b) billion U-S dollars in Korean companies.
President Kim reaffirmed to Barrett that his administration is making all-out efforts to abolish barriers to foreign investment.
Such efforts have been highly lauded at home and abroad.
President Kim Dae-jung enjoys popularity with South Koreans and the people are confident that he will get the country back on its feet.
"I believe he will make our economy recover to the days when it was at its prime."
SUPER CAPTION: Vox pop
"I think he will be the best president we ever had."
SUPER CAPTION: Vox pop
However, his presidency had a rocky start.
The opposition party holds a majority at the national assembly and it opposed the appointment of the prime minister resulting in a non-vote.
President Kim Dae-jung called the tactics used by the opposition party unconstitutional and appointed Kim Jong Pil as acting Prime Minister.
Politically, analysts think that despite the major opposition, he has done well and the economic crisis will put politics in the back burner.
"I think he has done quite a good job. Of course there was some controversy over the issue of personal cabinet appointments. I think he has done quite well because the most important task for him is to deal with economic crisis associated with IMF trustship."
SUPER CAPTION: Chung-in Moon, Professor Department of Political Science, Yonsei University
For President Kim, economic recovery is his top priority.
When he became president, he took on the burden of the record 58 (b) billion U-S dollar bailout package from the I-M-F.
One of his first meetings was with leaders of major South Korean conglomerates.
He asked that they restructure their vast companies and make major reforms.
The leaders agreed but since that meeting analysts observe that very little has been done.
Instead of streamlining operations, it is business as usual for the conglomerates.
In the beginning of the year, major reforms in the financial sector were expected.
However, only bad merchant banks were ordered to suspend business.
Bankrupt commercial banks were allowed to continue operations with huge a government infusion of funds.
If this trend continues, analysts warn that another financial crisis looms ahead.
And unless President Kim gets some good advice, it looks like it may be inevitable.
"I think that if Korea were to paint an accurate picture, were to go out on a road show and stop down playing the domestic problems rather highlight domestic problems together with effective policy response to those problems I think they will raise all money they needed to solve the problem and the credibility of the new administration will remain
SUPER CAPTION: Stephen Marvin, Head of Research, Ssangyong Securities
Experts say that the only viable long-term solution to the South Korean problem is wooing back foreign investors who fled the country late last year, fuelling a financial crisis.
But foreign investors will not come back unless South Korea is serious about making the necessary reforms.
That would mean high unemployment which then could lead to lower popularity ratings for President Kim.
This may make it harder for the president to persuade the South Koreans.
However, analysts say that such problems should be brought to the surface and the sooner the better.