- Ministry News
ROK-Viet Nam Foreign Ministers’ Meeting and Luncheon
1. Minister of Foreign Affairs Kang, Kyung-wha, who is on an official visit to the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam, had a meeting on the morning of September 18 and an official luncheon with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Viet Nam Pham Binh Minh at the guest house of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Viet Nam. The two sides had an extensive and in-depth discussion on cooperation in COVID-19 response, the way forward for the Republic of Korea-Viet Nam strategic cooperative partnership, and key bilateral and multilateral issues.
2. Minister Kang assessed that her visit to Viet Nam, the first ASEAN country she has visited since the COVID-19 pandemic, reflects the special ROK-Viet Nam relations. Prime Minister Minh said that the fact that Minister Kang is the first foreign guest to make an official visit to Viet Nam since COVID-19 demonstrates not only that the ROK-Viet Nam relations are significant, but also that the two countries, which are coping well with the COVID-19 situation, can continue working closely together even amid the pandemic.
o The two sides particularly noted that over the past few months, the two countries have actively cooperated, including through close communication at various levels, entry restriction exemptions for business people, and assistance in relief supplies, and agreed to expand the horizons of bilateral partnership to cover not only health cooperation to end the COVID-19 pandemic, but also cooperation for economic recovery in the post-COVID-19 era.
3. In particular, Minister Kang and Deputy Prime Minister Minh deeply agreed on the need to introduce special entry procedures between the two countries. Deputy Prime Minister Minh said that he expects his country to soon come up with measures simplifying entry procedures to offer more favorable conditions to Korean business people and other essential personnel, and suggested continuing close consultations to make a working-level agreement on concrete measures.
o On regular flights between the two countries, they agreed to begin by resuming the Incheon-Hanoi and Incheon-Ho Chi Minh routes as early as possible after final rounds of consultations between the aviation authorities of the two countries.
4. Deputy Prime Minister Minh praised the healthcare and medical capabilities that the ROK has shown in responding to COVID-19, and hoped to cooperate with the ROK in developing and producing vaccines. He added that the role of relevant international organizations, including the International Vaccine Institute located in the ROK, is also important.
o Minister Kang mentioned that vaccines and treatments for COVID-19 are public goods for mankind and cross-border cooperation is necessary for the smooth execution of vaccine development and distribution. She went on to say that she looks forward to continued cooperation with Viet Nam in clinical trials and equitable access.
5. In addition, the two sides had a very fruitful discussion on ways to make tangible progress on substantive cooperation between the ROK and Viet Nam.
o They agreed to actively resume face-to-face high-level exchanges between the two countries, starting with Minister Kang’s visit.
o They agreed to conclude the bilateral social security agreement and the climate change cooperation agreement aimed at promoting cooperation in shifting to low-carbon economies and responding to climate change as early as possible.
o Minister Kang said that the ROK would continue stepping up development cooperation with Viet Nam mainly in the areas of transportation, public administration, education, water management, and healthcare so that Viet Nam can continue sustainable growth. She particularly stressed that the ROK would support Viet Nam’s science and technology research and efforts to nurture high-quality human resources in each field, and contribute actively to Viet Nam’s balanced regional development and inclusive growth, including through smart city projects tailored to the needs of each region.
o Furthermore, Minister Kang and Deputy Prime Minister Minh reviewed the current state of bilateral cooperation in the finance, labor and consular sectors, and discussed the way forward.
6. Minister Kang and Deputy Prime Minister Minh shared the view that the ROK-Viet Nam relations are at their highest level since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1992, and discussed in depth concrete ways to elevate bilateral relations and further expand and strengthen people-to-people exchanges and friendly relations between the two countries.
o In particular, they shared the view that ahead of the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations in 2022, the atmosphere is ripe for upgrading the ROK-Viet Nam strategic cooperative partnership (established in 2009), and agreed to seek public-private joint research to elevate bilateral relations.
o They also welcomed the expected arrival in Viet Nam of the marine training ship Hannara, whose transfer had been agreed to by the leaders of the two countries, and agreed to further boost maritime cooperation.
7. Meanwhile, Minister Kang said that the ROK government is preparing ways to upgrade the New Southern Policy that fully reflect the current COVID-19 situation and ASEAN countries’ needs for cooperation in the health, digital, and science and technology areas.
o Deputy Prime Minister Minh reaffirmed Viet Nam’s firm support for the ROK government’s New Southern Policy, and suggested continuing efforts to strengthen their cooperation in ASEAN and other regions.
o In particular, on the ROK-Mekong cooperation which was upgraded to the summit level last year, the two sides agreed that the ROK and Viet Nam, the co-chairs of the Mekong-ROK Foreign Ministers’ Meeting scheduled for September 28, would make active efforts to ensure the success of the meeting. They also agreed to explore concrete ways of bilateral cooperation in fisheries, energy, and water resources in order to bolster the ROK-Mekong cooperation.
8. Lastly, the two sides exchanged views on the situations on the Korean Peninsula and in other major regions, including the South China Sea.
o Regarding the situation on the Korean Peninsula, Minister Kang expressed appreciation to ASEAN for actively supporting the ROK’s position in cooperation with Viet Nam, ASEAN’s chair. Deputy Prime Minister Minh said that his country would continue efforts to help achieve denuclearization and maintain peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula.
o Deputy Prime Minister Minh explained Viet Nam’s position on the South China Sea. Minister Kang expressed the ROK’s consistent position of supporting the freedom of navigation and overflight, and stressed the importance of fulfilling the commitment to demilitarization and maintaining regional peace and stability.
9. Minister Kang and Deputy Prime Minister Minh will meet again to co-chair the 10th Mekong-ROK Foreign Ministers’ Meeting to be held in a virtual format on September 28.