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Leaders of S. Korea, New Zealand agree to boost cooperation, economic ties

Diplomacy 07:10 December 04, 2018

AUCKLAND, Dec. 4 (Yonhap) -- South Korean President Moon Jae-in and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern agreed Tuesday to further enhance their countries' cooperation in various areas, including trade and Antarctic research.

In a summit held in Auckland, the two leaders also agreed to boost their cooperation in the defense industry.

"While noting that the South Korea-New Zealand FTA that went into effect in 2015 is providing a strong institutional foundation to promote trade and investment between the two countries, the two leaders agreed to develop more cooperation projects that would benefit their people in the agriculture industry, where New Zealand has strength, and the infrastructure and construction sectors that South Korea enjoys leadership in," Moon's presidential office Cheong Wa Dae said.

"The two leaders also agreed to work for an agreement on cooperation in military supplies so the countries' cooperation in the defense industry will be further expanded," it added.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in (R) and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern shake hands before holding a bilateral summit in Auckland on Dec. 4, 2018. (Yonhap)

The leaders also welcomed the scheduled launch of New Zealand's new South Korea-made military supply ship in 2019.

Moon arrived here Sunday following his trip to Argentina for the Group of 20 summit.

Moon and Ardern emphasized the need to combine the countries' strengths in various areas, including bio, health care, ICT and Antarctic research.

They also discussed ways to further expand the countries' people-to-people exchanges.

To this end, the leaders agreed to consider introducing a new leadership exchange program for the countries' young leaders.

Moon, who is on a state visit, explained the current security conditions on the Korean Peninsula, including the outcome of his three inter-Korean summits with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un this year, and asked for New Zealand's continued support for his country's efforts to establish peace.

Prime Minister Ardern evaluated that Seoul's leadership is bringing positive changes in conditions on the peninsula and said her government will continue to support the country's North Korea policy, Cheong Wa Dae said in a press release.

bdk@yna.co.kr
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