Korea, Australia reaffirm commitment to climate change, NK denuclearization on sidelines of NATO summit
President Yoon Suk-yeol and first lady Kim Keon-hee attend a dinner hosted by Spain’s King Felipe VI in Madrid on Tuesday. Yonhap
MADRID -- President Yoon Suk-yeol expressed hope of improving South Korea-Japan relations to his Japanese counterpart, Fumio Kishida, during a brief encounter at the NATO summit, Seoul’s presidential office said Wednesday.
According to the presidential office, Yoon and Kishida had a short conversation at the dinner party hosted by Spain’s King Felipe VI on Tuesday.
Yoon and Kishida, along with leaders of Australia and New Zealand, are in Madrid to attend the NATO summit as Asia-Pacific partner nations.
”My aides and I are of the mind to take bilateral relations in a future-oriented direction by quickly resolving current issues in Korea-Japan relations after (Japan’s) upper house elections,“ Yoon was quoted as saying by his office.
Yoon was responding to Kishida congratulating him on his inauguration and the ruling People Power Party’s local election victory, Yoon’s office said.
The Japanese leader responded in kind, saying “(I) am aware that President Yoon is making efforts for Korea-Japan relations,” and that the two countries should work to establish “healthier relations,” according to Yoon’s public relations office.
Earlier in the day, Yoon had kicked off his schedule with a meeting with Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, where the two reaffirmed their commitment to tackling international challenges and democratic values.
According to Yoon’s office, the two reached a consensus on energy climate change and denuclearization of North Korea at the summit.
Seoul’s presidential office said that Albanese pledged Australia’s continued role in strong and strict enforcement of sanctions on Pyongyang and support for the denuclearization of North Korea.
They also reached a consensus on carbon-neutral green technology cooperation in response to energy and climate change, and discussed cooperation in the supply chain of advanced industrial materials and rare minerals.
In the meeting, Yoon expressed his hopes for Korean companies to participate in the green hydrogen sector, where Australia has a strong foothold, and emphasized economic and security cooperation to cope with climate change.
The South Korean leader also requested Australia’s support for Busan’s bid to host the 2030 World Expo, to which Albanese replied he would make “appropriate considerations,” Yoon’s office added.
At the meeting, Albanese also emphasized the importance of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, and expressed hopes for South Korea and Australia to strengthen cooperation with ASEAN on regional issues.
By Shin Ji-hye (firstname.lastname@example.org