- Ministry News
5th ROK-UK Foreign Ministerial Strategic Dialogue
° It was the first visit to Asia by a UK Foreign Secretary since the outbreak of COVID-19 and the first visit ever to the ROK by Secretary Raab. The Strategic Dialogue came two years after the 4th one held in London in 2018.
2. The Minister and the Secretary noted with appreciation that the ROK and the UK, as important cooperative partners sharing universal values, have continued to expand close cooperation on bilateral and multilateral levels. They agreed to continue developing friendly and cooperative relations between the two countries even after Brexit.
° Minister Kang took note that the two countries have been steadily preparing for the future-oriented and continued development of the post-Brexit bilateral relations, including by formally signing the ROK-UK FTA and adopting the Joint Statement. She went on to voice hope that the two countries would continue to explore ways to step up post-Brexit cooperation, including by holding the bilateral Senior Economic Dialogue.
° Secretary Raab, sharing Minister Kang’s view, mentioned that the UK government has placed great significance on diplomacy toward Asia since Brexit, and expressed hope to continue bolstering cooperation in various areas, including not only economy but also health, science, technology, and the fifth- generation technology, with the ROK, the best partner for bilateral and multilateral cooperation.
3. The two Ministers shared with each other experiences in COVID-19 response, and took note that the two countries have worked closely together in such areas as information sharing, the return of their nationals from third countries, and the development of vaccines and therapeutics. They agreed to broaden the horizon of cooperation to not only health area such as strengthening global health governance but also other various areas including green economic recovery.
° Secretary Raab mentioned that the ROK’s COVID-19 response has become an example for the global community, and voiced hope for continued cooperation regarding equitable distribution of vaccines and therapeutics, among others, with the ROK, an advanced country in disease prevention and control. He also suggested exploring ways for bilateral cooperation in such areas as the global economic recovery and global supply chains.
° Minister Kang commended the UK for playing a pivotal role in the development and distribution of vaccines and therapeutics, including by leading international cooperation in that regard, and suggested seeking various ways to institutionalize bilateral and multilateral cooperation, including conclusion of an agreement on health cooperation.
° The Minister and the Secretary shared the understanding that digitalization and environment-friendly economic recovery will be the most significant post-COVID-19 issues and agreed to work closely together in leading these changes.
4. The Minister and the Secretary noted that the two countries have continued cooperation on the international stage as like-minded countries and agreed to continue expanding cooperation on key global issues, including climate change, development and cybersecurity.
° In particular, Minister Kang stressed that the year 2021 is an important year in which the ROK and the UK will host the 2nd Partnering for Green Growth and the Global Goals 2030 (P4G) Summit and the 26th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP26) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) respectively, which are expected to provide good opportunities to move forward the international community’s efforts to respond to climate change. She went on to ask the UK government to pay attention to and render close cooperation on the P4G Summit, including through participation by high-level UK officials, in order for the Summit to serve as a stepping stone for COP26.
° Secretary Raab explained that the UK government pays great attention to response to climate change, since the year 2020 marks the fifth anniversary of the conclusion of the Paris Agreement and and the UK government assumes the COP26 Presidency next year. He voiced hope that ambitious commitments on climate change will be put forward through close cooperation with the ROK and other like-minded countries.
5. The Minister and the Secretary also exchanged views on the situation on the Korean Peninsula.
° Minister Kang explained the ROK government’s willingness and efforts to achieve progress toward complete denuclearization and the establishment of permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula under the current circumstances and asked for continued cooperation and support of the UK, a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council and one of the ROK’s closest friends.
° Secretary Raab affirmed that the UK actively supports the efforts by the ROK government to make substantive progress in the peace process on the Korean Peninsula, stressing that the UK stands ready to play a role and render assistance as necessary.
6. Secretary Raab’s visit to the ROK is seen to have served as a meaningful opportunity to confirm the shared commitment to the post-Brexit development of close bilateral and multilateral cooperative relations with the UK, the ROK’s key partner in diplomacy toward Europe, and to step up strategic communication on key issues regarding situations on Korean Peninsula and in other regions.