1. On the occasion of her visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to chair the 19th meeting of the Republic of Korea (ROK)-Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) Joint Committee, Minister of Foreign Affairs Kang, Kyung-wha paid a courtesy call on the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud at the Royal Court on the morning of December 18.
o Minister Kang took note that Saudi Arabia’s economic and social reforms are being implemented successfully under the leadership of King Salman, and expressed satisfaction over the fact that the relations with Saudi Arabia, the ROK’s biggest cooperation partner in the Middle East, have further expanded and deepened in a range of areas following H.R.H. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud’s official visit to the ROK in June 2019.
o King Salman asked for the ROK’s continued participation and cooperation in the “Vision 2030,” Saudi Arabia’s ongoing plan to reduce oil dependence and for economic and social development, and voiced hope that the two countries would continue to increase mutually-beneficial cooperation, sharing their experiences and know-how of development.
o Minister Kang and King Salman discussed ways to step up substantive cooperation between the two countries in energy and national defense, and King Salman said he would welcome President Moon Jae-in’s visit to Saudi Arabia for the G20 summit to be held in Riyadh in 2020.
o King Salman took note of President Moon Jae-in’s efforts towards peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula, and expressed appreciation to the ROK side for issuing a statement condemning the drone attacks on oil facilities in Saudi Arabia in September. Minister Kang noted Saudi Arabia’s leadership to stabilize the situation in the Middle East, and said that she was deeply impressed by Saudi Arabia’s swift restoration of oil facilities and stable, continued supply of oil after the attacks on the facilities.
2. Minister Kang’s courtesy call on King Salman is seen to have shown that the ROK-KSA relations are being solidified on the basis of trust and friendship between the leaders of the two countries, especially after Crown Prince Mohammed’s visit to the ROK in June this year.
3. Prior to the courtesy call on King Salman, Minister Kang met with new Minister of Foreign Affairs of Saudi Arabia H.H. Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud on the morning of December 18, and discussed overall relations between the ROK and the KSA as well as the situations in major regions.
o The two Ministers shared the view that the ROK-KSA relations are making a leap forward after Crown Prince Mohammed’s visit to the ROK, and noted that the momentum for stronger bilateral relations is rising, with areas of cooperation expanding from energy and infrastructure to healthcare, national defense, the defense industry, and ICT.
o Minister Faisal explained Saudi Arabia’s position on the latest situation in the Middle East, and the two Ministers agreed to continue to closely work together to ease tension and establish peace in the Middle East, which is important for global security and the international economy.
o In addition, Minister Kang explained the current situation on the Korean Peninsula and the ROK government’s efforts to establish peace on the Peninsula, and Minister Faisal expressed support for the ROK government’s efforts for peaceful resolution of the issues on the Korean Peninsula.