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Park holds summits with leaders of EU, Laos, Vietnam

All News 13:25 July 15, 2016

By Song Sang-ho

ULAANBAATAR, July 15 (Yonhap) -- President Park Geun-hye on Friday held bilateral talks with the leaders of the European Union (EU), Laos and Vietnam as part of her diplomatic push to strengthen international cooperation to deal with North Korea's nuclear ambitions and expand economic ties.

The talks were held on the sidelines of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), which began its two-day run in Ulaanbaatar on Friday. The ASEM summit brought together the leaders of some 50 countries from Asia and Europe, including Japan, China and Russia.

Park's summit with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and European Council President Donald Tusk came amid growing uncertainties in the global economy following Britain's recent decision to leave the European Union (EU).

The two sides reaffirmed their will to maintain close cooperation in addressing regional and global challenges, including North Korea's security threats, and discussed ways to deepen their strategic partnership, Park's office Cheong Wa Dae said.

It was Park's second summit with the current EU leadership, which came to office in 2014.

During her summit with Laotian Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith, the South Korean leader discussed ways to enhance practical cooperation with the Southeast Asian nation, which is this year's rotating chair of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Park also used the summit to call for Laos' "constructive" role in addressing a series of issues involving the Korean Peninsula, such as Pyongyang's evolving nuclear and missile threats, Cheong Wa Dae said.

It was the first summit between the two leaders since a new Laotian government took power in April.

Soon after the talks with the Laotian premier, the president held separate talks with Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, who also took office in April.

The leaders discussed ways to bolster their cooperation in various industrial sectors, such as new energy, information and communications technologies (ICT), and health care, in addition to the manufacturing sector.

They also exchanged views on how to strengthen their strategic partnership ahead of the 25th anniversary next year of the establishment of their countries' diplomatic ties.

Park, in addition, called for Vietnam's backing for her government's policy toward Pyongyang.

sshluck@yna.co.kr
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