Kang meets Taro Kono
On the occasion of the Davos Forum 2019, Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha met bilaterally with Foreign Minister of Japan Taro Kono on January 23. In the meeting, the two top diplomats discussed ways to work together toward the denuclearization and the establishment of peace on the Korean Peninsula, the Korean Supreme Court’s ruling regarding victims of forced labor during the Japanese occupation of Korea, Japan’s claim that an ROK destroyer operated signal tracking and illuminating radar (STIR) against a Japanese patrol plane, and the way forward for the ROK-Japan relations.
Minister Kang, taking note of the recent high-level talks between the United States and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, expressed expectation regarding the proposed second US-DPRK summit. She went on to suggest that the ROK and Japan continue working together to achieve tangible progress toward a complete denuclearization and a lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula.
Minister Kono, underscoring the importance of tangible progress toward denuclearization, voiced hope for continued close communication and coordination between the ROK and Japan on Korean Peninsula issues, apart from that on some of the bilateral issues.
Minister Kang articulated the ROK government’s position on the Supreme Court decision regarding victims of forced labor, suggesting that the Foreign Ministries of the ROK and Japan muster wisdom to prevent the issue from hampering efforts to advance the bilateral ties in a future-oriented way. In response, Minister Kono explained the Japanese government’s position.
With respect to the radar issue, Minister Kang voiced concern over steps taken by the Japanese government, adding that the national defense authorities of the two countries should seek to resolve the issue as soon as possible through consultations.
The two Ministers drew a common understanding that apart from the radar issue, the ROK-Japan and ROK-US-Japan security cooperation, including on Korean Peninsula issues, should continue unswervingly.
The two Ministers reaffirmed the need for efforts to wisely address a number of thorny issues and thereby advance the bilateral relations in a future-oriented way; and agreed to maintain close communication and exchanges between the two countries in 2019.
Kang meets Workneh Gebeyehu
Kang met with Foreign Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia Workneh Gebeyehu on January 23 and engaged in a broad exchange of views on issues of mutual interest including key issues regarding cooperation between the Republic of Korea and Ethiopia, and regional situations.
Minister Kang welcomed the Ethiopian government’s active efforts to carry out domestic reforms and improve relations with neighboring countries since Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s inauguration. Kang also hoped to continue to advance the friendly and cooperative relations with Ethiopia, the ROK’s major cooperation partner in development cooperation, which fought side by side with the ROK during the Korean War.
Minister Workneh said that Ethiopia considered its relations with the ROK forged in blood alliance, and hoped to further strengthen their traditional relations of friendship and cooperation, as well as cooperation on the global stage.
Minister Kang explained the ROK government’s efforts to completely denuclearize the Korean Peninsula and to establish a lasting peace on the Peninsula. She also expressed support for Ethiopia’s efforts to build peace in the Horn of Africa, including the signing of a peace agreement between Ethiopia and Eritrea, and hoped to step up cooperation between the two countries in establishing peace in the region.
Minister Workneh stressed their shared view on efforts to establish peace in the regions being led by the two countries, and pledged that as a country which fought on the side of the ROK during the Korean War, the Ethiopian government would continue to provide firm support.
Kang meets Chrystia Freeland
Kang met with Foreign Minister of Canada Chrystia Freeland on January 24. She shared with her Canadian counterpart the outcome of the high-level talks between the United States and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and other recent progress toward the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. Kang asked Freeland to continue playing a constructive role in that regard.
The two Ministers exchanged views on the situation in Northeast Asia and global issues such as human rights and women-related matters. They agreed to maintain close communication on a wide range of diplomatic issues.
Kang meets Ernesto Araujo
Kang Kyung-wha met with Foreign Minister of the Federative Republic of Brazil Ernesto Araujo on January 24. In the meeting, the two top diplomats discussed efforts to bolster the Korea- Brazil relations in 2019, the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations, early conclusion of a trade agreement (TA) between the ROK and the Southern Common Market (MERCOSUR), and other ways to step up economic cooperation. They also discussed on ways to increase substantive cooperation such as infrastructure, high technology, education and tourism.
Minister Kang, extending congratulations to Minister Araujo on his and the new Brazilian government’s inaugurations, suggested that the two countries hold a variety of celebratory events for the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations in 2019, boost high-level exchanges, and a further beef up the bilateral ties.
Minister Araujo, bringing attention to President Bolsonaro’s view of the ROK as a model Brazil should learn from as well as the President’s strong hope to further deepen ties with the ROK, expressed expectation for closer ties with the country.
Minister Kang forecast that the currently negotiated ROK-MERCOSUR TA, when concluded, would lead to a great growth in trade and investment between the two countries, asking for Brazil’s robust cooperation for smooth progress of the second round of negotiations, which is scheduled for March 2019.
Minister Araujo, sharing Minister Kang’s view that the ROK-MERCOSUR TA should be concluded as soon as possible, spoke about the new Brazilian government’s economic policy direction, including its privatization efforts and eased regulations. He went on to ask Korean enterprises to pay attention to the privatization policy of the new Brazilian government.
The two sides agreed to further enhance cooperation in such areas of mutual concern as infrastructure, high technology and education; and to seek to conclude in 2019 an exchange of notes on the working holiday program and make various other efforts to promote exchanges between the peoples of the two countries.
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