- Ministry News
FM Attends Inauguration Ceremony of Mexican President
1. Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha, in her capacity as special envoy of the Republic of Korea government, attended the inauguration ceremony of new President of the United Mexican States Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, which was held at the palace of the Mexican Chamber of Deputies on December 1.
° The inauguration ceremony brought together some 2,000 special envoys, including about 20 top-level officials, from the ROK and some 30 other countries.
2. At the official luncheon hosted by new President Lopez Obrador on the heels of his inauguration ceremony, Minister Kang met and relayed to the new Mexican President congratulations from President Moon Jae-in on the former’s inauguration, saying that the two Presidents shared similar people-centered philosophies regarding state governance. She also passed along to the Mexican President the hope of President Moon to consolidate strategic partnership with the new Mexican government.
° President Obrador extended appreciation to the Foreign Minister for attending his inauguration ceremony in her capacity as special envoy and on behalf of the ROK government, and voiced hope to further enhance cooperative ties with the ROK.
3. On November 30, Minister Kang held a meeting with new Secretary of Foreign Affairs of Mexico Marcelo Ebrard, during which the two top diplomats agreed to further step up already-close cooperation in promoting high-level exchanges; in economy and other substantive areas; in responding to regional and global issues; and in carrying out middle-power diplomacy at MIKTA.
° Minister Kang voiced hope to broaden the scope of substantive cooperation with Mexico, the ROK’s top trade partner in Latin America, beyond trade and investment to include future-oriented and multi-dimensional fields. In particular, the Minister stressed that if the ROK government successfully became an associate member of the Pacific Alliance as it aimed to do in 2019, it would, in fact, generate effect equivalent to that of the conclusion of an FTA with Mexico; and asked for support of the new Mexican government in that regard. In response, Secretary Ebrard, sharing the Minister’s view, expressed willingness to advance and expand strategic partnership in various sectors.
° Minister Kang, suggesting further boosting high-level exchanges between the two countries, asked Secretary Ebrard to visit the ROK at a convenient time in 2019.
° The Minister and the Secretary agreed to expand activities and the role of MIKTA, a consultative mechanism among middle power countries established at the initiative of the ROK and Mexico; and to work closely with each other, with Mexico set to serve as MIKTA chair in 2019.
4. On a side note, Minister Kang held informal talks with high-level special envoys from a number of countries to the inauguration ceremony, using the ceremony as an opportunity to conduct diplomatic activities.
° In particular, the Minister held a conversation with President of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea Kim Yong-nam as well as a brief meeting with senior White House adviser Ivanka Trump on the heels of the inauguration ceremony.
5. By attending the inauguration ceremony of the Mexican President in her capacity as special envoy, Minister Kang is seen to have contributed to efforts to build trust as well as a new strong foundation for cooperation with the new government of Mexico, one of the ROK’s closest friends in Latin America.
* unofficial translation