- Press Releases
Outcome of Foreign Minister’s Official Visit to Kazakhstan
1. During her official visit to Kazakhstan on April 16 and 17 at the invitation of Foreign Minister Kairat Abdrakhmanov, Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha paid a courtesy call on President Nursultan Nazarbaev and held a meeting with her Kazakh counterpart on April 17.
[Courtesy call on President Nazarbaev]
2. During her courtesy call on President Nazarbaev, Minister Kang relayed warm regards from President Moon Jae-in as well as his message that the Republic of Korea and Kazakhstan, which have seen remarkable advances in their relations over the past 25 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1992, should work together to take their ties a notch higher.
° In particular, Minister Kang, bringing attention to the rapidly changing situation on the Korean Peninsula since around the PyeongChang Winter Olympics, spoke of the ROK government’s efforts to use the inter-Korean summit talks on April 27 and the US-North Korea summit meeting to come at a later date to create a big framework for the resolution of the North Korean nuclear issue and the establishment of peace on the Korean Peninsula.
° To that end, the Minister asked Kazakhstan, which had voluntarily surrendered nuclear weapons and is serving on the UN Security Council in 2017 and 2018 as the body’s first non-permanent member from Central Asia, to strongly cooperate with and support the ROK.
3. President Nazarbaev, affirming Kazakhstan’s plan to remain supportive of the ROK’s position on Korean Peninsula issues not only on the bilateral level but also at the UN Security Council and on other international stages, voiced heartfelt hope that the forthcoming inter-Korean and US-North Korea summit talks will reap significant results and thereby serve as historic opportunities to resolve the North Korean nuclear issue and achieve peace and prosperity on the Korean Peninsula.
° The President mentioned that by voluntarily surrendering nuclear weapons, Kazakhstan could win national security guarantee, foreign investment and respect from the international community, adding that the country has repeatedly sent to North Korea a message calling for its voluntary denuclearization.
4. Minister Kang, calling Kazakhstan the ROK’s top trade partner and investment destination in Central Asia as well as a major cooperative partner for the ROK government’s New Northern Policy, suggested that the two countries diversify in a future-oriented manner the scope of substantive cooperation beyond the energy and resource sectors.
° President Nazarbaev voiced hope that amid the current, robust cooperation among Central Asian countries, the ROK’s New Northern Policy could greatly help to increase substantive cooperation between the ROK and Kazakhstan. He went on to convey hope that the two countries will work more closely together in preparing for the era of the fourth industrial revolution and in such new sectors as transportation and logistics infrastructure, healthcare, medical services and education.
[ROK- Kazakhstan foreign ministerial meeting]
5. In their meeting, Foreign Ministers Kang and Abdrakhmanov discussed in detail the situation on the Korean Peninsula as well as ways to step up substantive cooperation in a future-oriented manner and to work more closely together on regional and global stages.
6. In particular, the two sides drew a common understanding that the two countries need to maintain and further step up the already-robust cooperation on energy and resources, as well as to broaden the scope of substantive cooperation for the future.
° The two sides, expressing hope that the two countries will be good partners to each other on their way into the era of the fourth industrial revolution, agreed to consider concluding a memorandum of understanding to that effect.
° The two sides, bringing attention to the similarities between the ROK’s New Northern Policy and Kazakhstan’s “Nurly Zhol” policy, agreed to work more closely together in the areas of transportation and logistics.
※ The “Nurly Zhol” policy, announced in November 2014, is Kazakhstan’s new economic policy designed to tackle its economic crisis amid the worsening global economic situation. The policy mainly calls for the development of infrastructure, including in the sectors of transportation, logistics, energy, industry, and social infrastructure; for modernizing housing, water and heating facilities; and for rendering assistance to small- and medium-sized enterprises.
7. Ministers Kang and Abdrakhmanov also shared the view that the two countries need to bolster cooperation on regional and global stages.
° Minister Kang shared with her Kazakh counterpart information on the Korea-Central Asia Cooperation Forum and cooperation projects between the ROK and the five Central Asian countries; and asked for Kazakhstan’s support for the ROK in elections of the UN and other international organizations.
° Minister Abdrakhmanov brought attention to the lately growing tide of cooperation among Central Asian countries and commended the ROK for its role in the efforts to increase cooperation in Central Asia.
8. The first visit to Kazakhstan by an ROK Foreign Minister in eight years is seen to have helped to win continuous support for the ROK government’s efforts to build peace on the Korean Peninsula from Kazakhstan, which, in 1993, voluntarily surrendered nuclear weapons inherited from the former Soviet Union and, currently as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, is taking a leading part in international discussions on nuclear non-proliferation.
° The visit is also seen to have served as an opportunity to create consensus on a new direction for bolstering substantive cooperation with Kazakhstan, a major economy in Central Asia.
* unofficial translation