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(LEAD) S. Korea, Mongolia upgrade bilateral ties to 'strategic partnership'

Diplomacy 16:15 September 10, 2021

(ATTN: CHANGES headline; UPDATES throughout with summit results; ADDS photos)

SEOUL, Sept. 10 (Yonhap) -- South Korea and Mongolia agreed during their virtual summit Friday to upgrade their relations to a "strategic partnership," Cheong Wa Dae announced.

President Moon Jae-in and his Mongolian counterpart Ukhnaagiin Khurelsukh adopted a joint declaration on specific ways for strengthening forward-looking cooperation in various sectors.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in (R) talks with his Mongolian counterpart Ukhnaagiin Khurelsukh (on screen) during a virtual summit at Cheong Wa Dae in Seoul on Sept. 10, 2021. (Yonhap)

In the hourlong talks, the leaders noted that the two sides have developed friendly ties in politics, economy, culture and people-to-people exchanges since establishing formal diplomatic relations in 1990.

"Based on these achievements, (they) agreed to upgrade the relationship between the two countries to a 'strategic partnership,'" Moon's office said. In 2011, South Korea and Mongolia elevated their formal relations to a "comprehensive partnership."

Mongolia is a key partner in South Korea's New Northern Policy, aimed at improving strategic ties with northern countries, and has also proactively supported the Northeast Asia Cooperation Initiative for Infectious Disease Control and Public Health, suggested by Moon in September 2020 and born three months later.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in holds summit talks with his Mongolian counterpart Ukhnaagiin Khurelsukh via videoconferencing at Cheong Wa Dae in Seoul on Sept. 10, 2021. (Yonhap)

Moon especially expressed hope that South Korea will bolster "substantive cooperation" with Mongolia in the post-coronavirus era.

He pointed out great potential for cooperation between South Korea, an industrial powerhouse, and Mongolia, rich in natural resources.

He proposed that the two sides continue to expand mutual cooperation in eco-friendly industries, such as green energy.

The Mongolian president agreed that synergy can be created by incorporating South Korea's advanced technology into Mongolia's eco-friendly infrastructure construction and resource development.

In particular, they agreed on closer cooperation in health care, medical services, the environment and science technology.

They also agreed to provide support for South Korean companies to participate in supplying energy, creating smart cities and establishing distribution and logistics systems in Mongolia.

It marked their first talks since the Mongolian president was elected in June. He met with Moon in January 2018, when he visited here in his capacity as prime minister.

This file photo, taken Jan. 15, 2018, shows South Korean President Moon Jae-in (R) meeting with then Mongolian Prime Minister Ukhnaagiin Khurelsukh at Cheong Wa Dae in Seoul. (Yonhap)

lcd@yna.co.kr
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