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Leaders of S. Korea, Singapore agree to boost economic, diplomatic cooperation

All Headlines 13:18 July 12, 2018

SINGAPORE, July 12 (Yonhap) -- South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong agreed Thursday to further strengthen the countries' economic and diplomatic cooperation while also working to promote free trade and peace in their region.

The joint call for efforts to expand trade and economic cooperation between the countries came in a bilateral summit held at the Istana, Singapore's presidential palace.

"The two leaders agreed to continue expanding the exchange of human resources and youth employment based on a belief that friendship and cooperation between the people of the two countries is the most important foundation for the development of their relationship," Moon's presidential office Cheong Wa Dae said in a press release.

The South Korean president arrived here Wednesday on a three-day state visit, the first of its kind by a South Korean leader in 15 years.

The Moon-Lee summit followed an official welcoming ceremony and a separate meeting between Moon and his Singaporean counterpart, Halimah Yacob.

Moon and Lee discussed ways to peacefully denuclearize North Korea as their summit also followed a historic meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, held here in Singapore on June 12.

"The two leaders noted the positive change in conditions on the Korean Peninsula following the South-North Korea and North Korea-U.S. summit meetings, and exchanged their opinions on cooperation between the two countries for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and establishment of peace, as well as peace and prosperity in the region," Cheong Wa Dae said.

Moon held two inter-Korean summits with Kim on April 27 and May 26.

The leaders of South Korea and Singapore also called for efforts to expand their countries' bilateral trade, which came to US$20.5 billion in 2017.

"Sharing a view that the countries are the best partners for each other to spearhead the fourth industrial revolution, the two leaders agreed to strengthen the countries' exchanges and cooperation in the energy sector, such as smart grids and LNG, and in the startup sector, while also promoting cooperation on the development of future growth engines in new industrial sectors, such as smart manufacturing, fintech, bio and medicine," the press release said.

The leaders were later set to attend a signing ceremony for a memorandum of understanding for cooperation on joint development of new technologies and markets in third countries, according to Cheong Wa Dae.

They will later hold an official lunch following a ceremony to name a new breed of orchid after the South Korean president and his wife, Kim Jung-sook, Singapore's traditional way of honoring foreign leaders who visit the Southeast Asian nation, Cheong Wa Dae said.

bdk@yna.co.kr
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