1. On November 14, First Vice Foreign Minister Lim Sung-nam met bilaterally with Deputy Foreign Minister Vepa Hajiyev of Turkmenistan, who was on a visit to the Republic of Korea for the tenth Korea-Central Asia Cooperation Forum. In their meeting, the two ranking diplomats discussed the ROK-Turkmenistan relations; ways to step up substantive cooperation; the North Korean nuclear issue; and ways to work together on the international stage.
2. The Vice Minister and the Deputy Minister shared the view that the exchange of visits between the leaders of their two countries in 2014 and 2015 had helped further broaden the scope of bilateral cooperation. They agreed to continue boosting high-level, economic and cultural exchanges in an effort to enhance their mutually-beneficial cooperative ties.
3. Vice Minister Lim brought attention to the fact that North Korea’s nuclear threat is graver than ever before, as can be seen from its two nuclear tests in 2016 alone, highlighting the need for the international community to respond in a united manner. He voiced hope that Turkmenistan’s voluntary denuclearization, which had contributed to the successful denuclearization of Central Asia, would serve as a good lesson for North Korea.
4. Turkmenistan, the country with the world’s fourth-biggest natural gas reserves, is one of the ROK’s major partners in implementing its foreign policy toward Central Asia for co-prosperity and mutual benefits. Since forging diplomatic relations in 1992, the ROK and Turkmenistan have been increasing cooperation not only in substantive areas but also on regional and international stages.
* unofficial translation