S. Korea, Indonesia agree to deepen bilateral ties in foreign ministerial talks
SEOUL, April 8 (Yonhap) -- South Korea and Indonesia agreed to strengthen their partnerships in defense industry and various other sectors during high-level talks in Jakarta on Monday, according to Seoul's foreign ministry.
South Korea's top diplomat, Kang Kyung-wha, led the country's delegation to the third joint committee meeting between the two sides. Indonesia was represented by Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi.
Indonesia, the world's fourth most populous nation, is a key partner of South Korea in the New Southern Policy aimed at improving its relations with countries located south of the peninsula, especially India and the ASEAN bloc.
In the session, Kang and Marsudi had "in-depth consultations" on major pending bilateral issues and ways to promote substantive ties and cultural, people-to-people exchanges, the ministry said in a news release.
They expressed hope for continued "mutually beneficial" cooperation in arms production and procurement, pointing out that it's a yardstick of the level of state-to-state strategic partnerships and mutual trust between them, it added.
Seoul and Jakarta have been working together in fighter jet development projects.
Regarding the security conditions in Korea, the ministers agreed to communicate and cooperate closely with each other on efforts for complete denuclearization and permanent peace.
They also noted the importance of expanding cooperation to keep fostering two-way trade and voiced expectations that the two nations will strike a deal this year in negotiations on the proposed Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA).
Besides that, they agreed to bolster cooperation in such fields as transportation, infrastructure, science, technology, forestry, agriculture and the exchange of entertainment-related content.
Indonesia is the first ASEAN country President Moon Jae-in visited as South Korea's leader.
In September 2018, President Joko Widodo made a reciprocal state visit to Seoul.
The ministry described Seoul's relationship with the Southeast Asian nation as standing at its best-ever level.
South Korea plans to hold a special group summit with ASEAN member states in the southern port city of Busan from Nov. 25-26, followed by a separate Mekong summit with Vietnam, Thailand, Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia the next day.
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