1. Minister of Foreign Affairs Park Jin, who is on a visit to Zambia from August 10 to 11, met with Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Stanley Kasongo Kakubo on August 10, and discussed the Korea-Zambia relations, enhancing substantive cooperation, regional affairs, and cooperation in the international arena.
2. Foreign Minister Park said that he was pleased to visit Zambia as the first Korean Foreign Minister to do so since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1990, following the invitation from Foreign Minister Kakubo during their phone call in March. Foreign Minister Park also looked forward to continuing constructive discussions to advance bilateral relations through this visit, and Foreign Minister Kakubo welcomed Foreign Minister Park's visit.
3. In particular, Foreign Minister Park expected that as Korea and Zambia share the universal values of democracy, freedom, the rule of law, and human rights, the two countries would be able to further solidify bilateral relations. He also stated that as Zambia, sharing borders with 8 neighboring countries, plays a hub role in the region, strengthening strategic cooperation with the country would be valuable. Furthermore, Foreign Minister Park appreciated the co-hosting of the 2nd Summit for Democracy with Zambia this year, and requested Zambia’s active participation in the 3rd Summit, which is to be held in Korea next year. In response, Foreign Minister Kakubo agreed on the need to deepen cooperation based on values shared by the two countries.
4. Foreign Minister Park also noted that as Zambia possesses abundant key minerals for the production of electric vehicle batteries and Korea is a leading country in electric vehicle production, there is great potential for supply chain cooperation between the two countries. Foreign Minister Park also suggested accelerating cooperation in the mineral sector, especially as the Korea Mine Rehabilitation and Mineral Resources Corporation and Zambia’s Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on cooperation in May. Foreign Minister Kakubo expressed hope for active investment by Korean companies in this field.
5. Foreign Minister Park also stated that the Korean government has supported Zambia's efforts to increase agricultural productivity and improve ICT-based education accessibility, and will also support customs modernization projects in Zambia next year to promote intra-African trade, which is becoming increasingly important with the emergence of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
6. In addition, Foreign Minister Park mentioned three important opportunities to strengthen the Korea-Zambia and Korea-Africa relations and introduced the Korean government’s efforts on them. First, he explained that Korea is working to host the 2030 Busan World Expo to strengthen long-term and mutually-beneficial cooperation with developing countries, and asked for Zambia’s support, adding that the 2030 Busan World Expo would serve as an opportunity to discuss solutions to the common challenges of humanity, such as climate change, pandemic, and digital gap, which can have a significant impact, especially on developing countries, including Zambia, as well as to share Korea’s experience of economic development.
7. Next, Foreign Minister Park stated that the Korean government will host the Korea-Africa Summit for the first time next year and asked for Zambia’s participation and support. Foreign Minister Kakubo highly recognized Korea’s vision for strengthening diplomacy toward Africa and looked forward to participating in the Summit.
8. Lastly, Foreign Minister Park stressed that as Korea will serve as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for the 2024-25 term, Korea will be able to contribute significantly to peace and security in Africa through close cooperation with the region on African issues, one of the Security Council’s main agendas.
9. Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Park emphasized the importance of a united response of the international community to the unprecedented scale of missile provocations by North Korea and explained the Korean government’s Audacious Initiative. Foreign Minister Kakubo stressed that his country holds a firm position on acts that violate international regulations, and expressed support for the Korean government’s position. The two Foreign Ministers also expressed concern over the retreat of democracy caused by the ongoing political instability in the African continent, and agreed to work together for the stability of the situation in Africa.
10. The Korea-Zambia Foreign Ministers’ meeting served as an opportunity to establish the foundation for building a strategic cooperative relationship with Zambia, which is gaining importance in Southern Africa, and to secure support for Korea's vision for strengthening diplomacy toward Africa.