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KOR

Press Releases

First-ever ROK-Germany Foreign Ministerial Strategic Dialogue Takes Place

Date
2018-07-26
hit
6031

1. On July 26, Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha, together with Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs Heiko Maas of Germany who was on an official visit to the Republic of Korea on July 25 and 26, held “the first ROK-Germany foreign ministerial strategic dialogue.” In the meeting, the two top diplomats discussed major bilateral issues, the situations on the Korean Peninsula and in Europe, and key global issues.

 

°  Minister Maas visited Japan on July 25 and the ROK as part of his first Asia tour since his inauguration in March. The ROK-Germany foreign ministerial strategic dialogue, the platform for which has been set up in a follow-up on the agreement reached by the leaders of the two countries in July 2017, took place for the first time during Minister Maas’ visit to the ROK.

 

2. The two Ministers noted with appreciation that the ROK and Germany, which mark the 135th anniversary of diplomatic relations, had seen their close friendship and cooperation steadily grow on the basis of shared values. In particular, the two sides hailed the robust summit exchanges of late, including President Moon Jae-in’s visit to Germany in 2017 and German Federal President Steinmeier’s official visit to the ROK in February 2018; and agreed to maintain this momentum of summit-level exchanges.

 

° The two top diplomats agreed to further boost bilateral trade and investment on the back of the ROK-EU FTA and to step up cooperation in a future-oriented way in responding to the fourth industrial revolution, protecting personal information, and energy transition.

 

° The two Ministers also agreed to hold the strategic dialogue on a regular basis and to institutionalize and put in high gear channels between the two countries’ Foreign Ministries for exchanges and cooperation in various areas.

 

Germany is the ROK’s largest trade partner in Europe ($28.2 bln in 2017), the third-largest European investor in the ROK ($13.2 bln) and the host of the largest Korean community in Europe (some 40,000 Koreans).

 

As part of the efforts to institutionalize the cooperative channel between the Foreign Ministries, the two sides will alternately host the strategic dialogue; set up consultative mechanisms between directors-general for regional affairs; establish a track-1.5 dialogue platform on Korean Peninsula issues; and strengthen the existing policy planning consultation mechanism.

 

° Minister Kang relayed concern over the possibility of the EU’s recent imposition of provisional safeguard measures on steel products having negative impact on mutually beneficial trade between the ROK and the EU as well as on free and multilateral trade of the global community. On that note, she asked the German government to cooperate actively in order for Korean-made steel products to be exempt from the EU measures.

 

The European Commission put in place provisional safeguard measures on 23 product categories of steel on July 19.

 

3. Minister Kang shared with her German counterpart the situation on the Korean Peninsula since the inter-Korean and US-North Korean summit talks; extended appreciation to Germany for its consistent support for the ROK government’s policy toward North Korea; and asked Germany, set to serve as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council from the year 2019, to remain cooperative in that regard.

 

° Minister Maas, commending the ROK government’s efforts over the recent progress in the situation on the Korean Peninsula, stressed that Germany would continue working closely with the ROK to resolve the North Korean nuclear issue and others concerning the Korean Peninsula. 

 

4. The two sides, affirming the shared confidence in the world order based on rules, such as those for responding to climate change, free trade and multilateralism, agreed to work more closely together at the EU, the G20, the UN and other multilateral organizations.

 

5. The first ROK-Germany foreign ministerial strategic dialogue, the first bilateral meeting between the two Foreign Ministers since their inaugurations, is seen to have served as a good opportunity to review bilateral issues, to step up strategic communication and cooperation on regional and global levels, and to build friendship and trust between the two top diplomats.

 

 

* unofficial translation