- Press Releases
ROK-South Africa Foreign Ministerial Meeting Takes Place
1. Minister of Foreign Affairs Kang Kyung-wha had a Republic of Korea (ROK)-Republic of South Africa (South Africa) foreign ministerial meeting with Dr. Naledi Pandor, Minister of Department of International Relations and Cooperation, in the latter’s office in Johannesburg on the afternoon of July 15, 2019. During the meeting, the two sides discussed cooperation on peace and security, including the situation on the Korean Peninsula; economic cooperation, such as ways to boost trade and investment; and ways to resolve challenges facing Korean companies in South Africa.
2. The two Ministers mentioned that the foreign ministerial meeting carried significance as the beginning of vitalized high-level exchanges agreed upon at the summit between President Moon Jae-in and President Cyril Ramaphosa held in December 2018; shared the understanding that the two countries, which have maintained friendly and cooperative ties since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1992, should further expand and strengthen mutually beneficial exchanges and cooperation; and agreed to hold the 1st meeting of the ROK- South Africa minister-level joint committee as soon as possible to accelerate such efforts.
3. Minister Kang commended South Africa, which marks the 25th anniversary of democracy in 2019, for advancing the spirit of freedom and harmony; and asked for cooperation in upholding and further expanding the values of democracy and free trade shared by the two countries.
° With the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) formally launched on July 7, the two sides discussed ways to seek mutually-beneficial economic cooperation, including boosting trade and investment, between the ROK and South Africa, the only African member state of the G20.
° In particular, Minister Kang asked that, in a follow-up on the summit held in 2018, South Africa step up institutional assistance, including by improving its visa system, for easing processes for Korean companies building businesses in the country. Minister Pandor mentioned that efforts are underway with related government agencies, including the Department of Home Affairs, to resolve relevant issues as soon as possible; and asked the ROK government to encourage Korean enterprises to invest in South Africa.
° Minister Kang pointed out that the Korean War veterans memorial wall in South Africa, a symbol of the historically friendly and cooperative ties between the two countries, remains partly damaged; and asked for cooperation with the ROK government in repairing the memorial wall. Minister Pandor replied that the matter will be looked into and well-handled.
4. Minister Kang explained the background and the process of the meetings held at Panmunjeom on June 30 between the leaders of the United States (U.S.) and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), as well as among those of the ROK, the DPRK and the U.S. Mentioning that these meetings will give fresh impetus to the peace process on the Korean Peninsula, she asked for continued support of South Africa that has the experience of voluntary denuclearization.
° Minister Kang also asked South Africa, a non-permanent member state of the United Nations Security Council for the term 2019-2020 and the chair country of the African Union in 2020, to play an active role on the continental and international levels with regard to the ROK’s efforts to achieve complete denuclearization and a permanent peace regime on the Korean Peninsula.
° Minister Pandor, taking note of the results and the significance of the recent meetings at Panmunjeom, stressed that the government of South Africa, which has represented the spirit of reconciliation and peace, will continue to support the Moon Jae-in government’s efforts to establish peace on the Korean Peninsula.
5. The bilateral visit to South Africa by Minister Kang, the first of its kind by a foreign minister of a foreign country since the inauguration of the 2nd Ramaphosa government in late May, is seen to have served as an opportunity to reaffirm the close relations with South Africa, one of the leading countries in the political and economic areas in Africa; and to express at home and abroad the ROK government’s will to further develop its relationship with Africa into a mutually beneficial partnership.
6. Minister Kang met with heads of the ROK’s public organizations and government-sponsored enterprises in South Africa for a discussion on ways to strengthen the cooperative system by taking a whole-of-government approach, wrapping up her visits to three African countries -- the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, the Republic of Ghana and the Republic of South Africa.