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(LEAD) S. Korean FM discuss virus responses with Sri Lankan, Czech counterparts

All News 20:24 May 04, 2020

(ATTN: CHANGES headline, lead; ADDS more info on talks with Czech foreign minister in paras 5-7)

SEOUL, May 4 (Yonhap) -- Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha spoke by phone with her Sri Lankan and Czech Republic counterparts Monday and discussed cooperation in coping with the coronavirus pandemic, her office said.

In the talks with Dinesh Gunawardena, Kang explained that the COVID-19 situation in South Korea is stabilizing as a result of nationwide efforts to overcome the disease based on the principle of transparency in terms of its quarantine policy, the ministry said in a release.

In response, Gunawardena praised South Korea for successfully holding general elections during the virus outbreak on the back of its advanced quarantine capabilities and held out hopes for greater cooperation and support between the two countries in tackling the virus.

The two sides also agreed on the need for continued efforts to facilitate essential economic and people-to-people exchanges despite limited circumstances due to the virus outbreak, according to the ministry.

Later in the day, Seoul's top diplomat talked on the phone with the Czech Republic's Foreign Minister Tomas Petricek on the ongoing efforts to tackle the coronavirus crisis.

In the exchange, which comes as Seoul and Prague mark 30 years of formal diplomatic ties this year, Petricek gave high marks for South Korea's handling of COVID-19. He expressed thanks for the shipment of South Korean test kits and the sharing of information on quarantine measures.

The two ministers then touched on close cooperation that has taken place between the two sides in allowing South Korean businessmen to enter the European country to carry out their work, as well as the joint efforts that allowed for the successful repatriation of Czech citizens in Australia and New Zealand on a special Korean Air flight last month. The same plane was used to bring home South Korean nationals from the Czech Republic.

On Monday, South Korea reported eight new virus infections, all from overseas, bringing the total tally to 10,801 with 252 deaths.

Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha speaks during a parliamentary session in Seoul on April 28, 2020. (Yonhap)


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