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KOR

Press Releases

Foreign Minister Meets with her EU Counterpart

Date
2017-10-20
hit
1640

1. Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha met with EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini in Brussels on October 20, local time, and engaged in an extensive discussion on ways to advance the ROK-EU strategic partnership and to work together on regional and global issues, including the North Korean nuclear issue.

2. Minister Kang said that the EU and its members which share universal values are the ROK’s very important partners, and took note that the ROK-EU strategic partnership is expanding and deepening to cover not only political and economic affairs but crisis management, following the ROK Navy (Cheonghae Unit)’s participation in the EU’s anti-piracy operation off Somalia after the entry into force of the ROK-EU Framework Agreement for the Participation of Korea in EU Crisis Management Operations.

o Minister Kang expressed appreciation to the EU for its cooperation regarding the accident where the ROK crew members of the Stellar Daisy were missing, including providing satellite images.

o High Representative Mogherini said that the ROK is the EU’s closest partner, and the ROK-EU relations are at their best. She also expressed appreciation for the ROK’s participation in the EU’s crisis management operations, and offered to expand cooperation on bilateral, regional and global issues.

3. The Minister and the High Representative took note that despite global economic downturn, the ROK-EU FTA is propping up the bilateral trade, as demonstrated by the rise in trade volume between the two sides this year, and spreading the importance of free trade and open economy around the world.

o High Representative Mogherini noted that the two sides are also building close cooperative relations in science and technology, and hoped that they will continue to increase joint efforts to create new growth engines.

4. Minister Kang and High Representative Mogherini assessed the current situation concerning the North Korean nuclear issue, and had in-depth discussions on ways for the ROK and the EU to work together on the issue. The two sides reaffirmed their common position of resolving the North Korean nuclear issue in a peaceful manner by using all possible measures, including sanctions, pressure and dialogue.

o The Minister and the High Representative shared the view that regarding North Korea’s continued provocations, it is important to change North Korea’s calculus and bring the North to the negotiation table over its denuclearization through the international community’s united action to strengthen sanctions and pressure. The two sides also agreed to continue to increase efforts to induce North Korea to take the path towards denuclearization, including repeatedly sending messages that if North Korea makes the right choice, it will have a bright future.

o Minister Kang especially took note that the EU sent a stern message to North Korea by adopting additional unilateral sanctions against the North on October 16. High Representative Mogherini said that the goal of the new unilateral sanctions is to open the path towards a political solution by strengthening pressure on North Korea.

o Minister Kang stressed that what is more important than anything else under the current circumstances is to manage the situation in a stable manner to ensure that tensions on the Korean Peninsula will not rise further. High Representative Mogherini said that the EU actively supports the ROK’s leading roles in handling issues on the Korean Peninsula, and it is ready to continue to make active contributions to resolving the North Korean nuclear issue.

5. The meeting between Minister Kang and her EU counterpart is seen to serve as an opportunity to engage in in-depth discussions on not only the bilateral relations but the North Korean nuclear issue, the Iran nuclear agreement, and the ASEM Foreign Ministers’ meeting, and thereby deepen the ROK-EU strategic partnership.


* unofficial translation