1. Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se, who visited Anchorage to attend the Conference on Global Leadership in the Arctic: Cooperation, Innovation, Engagement and Resilience (GLACIER) on August 30-31, held a series of bilateral meetings on the afternoon of August 30 with his counterparts from four member countries of the Nordic Council, who attended the GLACIER -- Foreign Minister of Norway Brende, Foreign Minister of Sweden Wallström, Foreign Minister of Denmark Jensen, and Foreign Minister of Iceland Sveinsson.
o Following his bilateral meeting with Foreign Minister of Finland Soini on August 31, Minister Yun will have met with his counterparts from all five member countries of the Nordic Council.
2. Minister Yun said that sustainable development in the Arctic is in line with the ROK government’s Eurasia Initiative. He also explained in detail the ROK’s Arctic-related activities, including the operation of the Arctic Dasan research station and a cooperative polar research center, established in Norway; research activities in the Arctic Ocean through the ROK’s research vessel Araon; holding policy consultations on Arctic policies with Nordic countries; and various other activities since joining the Arctic Council as an observer in 2013. The Minister stressed the ROK’s willingness to continue to make contributions.
o The Nordic Foreign Ministers spoke highly of the ROK’s such efforts to make contributions, and offered to continue cooperation between the Nordic countries and the ROK for sustainable development in the Arctic.
o In addition, mentioning that climate change is having a serious impact not only on the Arctic circle, but also on countries around the world, Minister Yun emphasized the usefulness of the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) and the Green Climate Fund (GCF), whose operation is being led by the ROK. Concerning the GCF’s plans to start concrete projects in November this year, Minister Yun expressed appreciation for the contributions that the Nordic countries have made, and requested their continued interest and contributions.
3. Minister Yun also discussed ways to increase substantive cooperation between the ROK and the Nordic countries, as well as ways to cooperate on the international community.
o Minister Yun and his Norwegian counterpart agreed to strengthen institutional foundations to enhance substantive cooperation in trade and investment by signing a social security agreement as soon as possible. Minister Yun requested the Norwegian side’s cooperation to help Korean companies enter the defense and military procurement market in Norway.
o Minister Yun and his Swedish counterpart agreed to review measures to hold a joint economic committee meeting in order to strengthen cooperation in the healthcare and welfare sectors in preparation for an aging society, and to facilitate economic cooperation.
o Minister Yun and his Danish counterpart agreed to further develop the strategic partnership and the green growth alliance, established between the two countries in 2011. They also agreed to cooperate in adopting E-Navigation technical standards, which are being discussed at the International Maritime Organization (IMO).
4. Regarding the recent North Korean landmine and artillery provocations, Minister Yun explained the background regarding the North Korean provocations, the process and outcome of the high-level talks between South and North Korea, and future prospects. The Nordic Foreign Ministers commended the ROK government for producing successful results at the inter-Korean high-level talks by making a principled and firm response. They also shared the view that the international community needs to continue to make a firm response, in order to deter any further provocations by North Korea, including a nuclear test and a long-range missile launch.
5. Minister Yun and the Nordic Foreign Ministers agreed that the ROK-Nordic Foreign Ministers’ meeting, held for the first time on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in September last year, was a useful opportunity to discuss not only bilateral issues, but also ways to cooperate on regional and global issues. They also shared the view that at the ROK-Nordic Foreign Ministers’ level, they need to continue to discuss ways to enhance strategic cooperation on global and regional issues, including peacekeeping operations (PKO), cyber security, human rights, humanitarian assistance, climate change and development.
6. The series of bilateral meetings with the Foreign Ministers of the five Nordic countries served as an opportunity to reaffirm the long-standing friendly and cooperative relations between the ROK and the Nordic countries, as well as to further consolidate the foundation for cooperation in preparation for the Arctic era with Nordic countries, which are key partners in implementing the Eurasia Initiative, one of the three pillars of the ROK government’s trustpolitik.