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Seoul to seek improved ties with Cuba: FM

All Headlines 18:38 February 10, 2015

SEOUL, Feb. 10 (Yonhap) -- South Korea plans to make efforts to normalize its diplomatic relations with Cuba in a bid to expand the scope of its diplomacy with countries in Central and South America, the foreign ministry said Tuesday.

Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se told lawmakers that Seoul will seek to improve its relations with Cuba this year as it moves to promote ties with countries in Central and South America in a mutually beneficial manner.

South Korea has no diplomatic relations with Cuba, while North Korea has maintained ties with Havana since 1960.

It marked the first time that Yun has publicly mentioned Seoul's efforts to make ties with Cuba.

His remarks came as the United States and Cuba made a surprise announcement in December to restore their diplomatic ties, which were severed in 1961.

Seoul's foreign ministry earlier said that it welcomed the U.S.-Cuba agreement to restore diplomatic ties, expressing hope that the move will positively affect the relationship between Seoul and Havana in the future.

"The Korean government is seeking to normalize its relations or promote cooperation with all countries beyond ideology and the (political) system. In that sense, Seoul is making efforts to improve its ties with Cuba," foreign ministry spokesman Noh Kwang-il said in a regular press briefing on Dec. 18.

"We hope that the agreement between the U.S. and Cuba will positively help set the stage for the improvement in relations between South Korea and Cuba," Noh said.

sooyeon@yna.co.kr
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