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Top diplomats of S. Korea, Guatemala discuss anti-virus cooperation by phone

Diplomacy 16:35 April 22, 2020

SEOUL, April 22 (Yonhap) -- The top diplomats of South Korea and Guatemala discussed cooperation in responses to the coronavirus pandemic on Wednesday, including allowing entry exceptions to South Korean businesspeople into the Latin American country, the foreign ministry said.

In the phone talks with her counterpart, Pedro Brolo Vila, Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha expressed willingness for greater cooperation in tackling the COVID-19 outbreak with Guatemala, including sharing South Korea's experience in containing the disease.

In response, Brolo held up South Korea's anti-virus responses as a global exemplar that his country wants to benchmark, and said he will review ways to make possible the visits by South Korean businesspeople as soon as the virus situation in his country stabilizes.

About 170 South Korean firms have business presences in Guatemala, with some 7,000 South Korean nationals living there, according to the foreign ministry.

During the talks, Kang also thanked the Guatemalan government for helping 73 South Korean nationals, who had been stranded there due to the lockdown, return home safely last week.

She also asked for Guatemala's support and attention in ensuring the safety of South Korean nationals there, her office said.

South Korean nationals prepare to board a special fight bound for Mexico at La Aurora International Airport in Guatemala, to return home amid the coronavirus outbreak, in this photo provided by the South Korean Embassy in Guatemala on April 15, 2020. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

elly@yna.co.kr
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