Leaders of S. Korea, Canada vow joint efforts to fight trade protectionism
South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau agreed Tuesday to work together to fight trade protectionism in the global market, Seoul's presidential office Cheong Wa Dae said.
The agreement came in their phone conversation held earlier in the day.
"President Moon and Prime Minister Trudeau noted both South Korea and Canada are highly dependent on trade, and expressed concerns over the recent spread of trade protectionism throughout the world," Cheong Wa Dae spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom said in a press release.
"The two leaders agreed to closely work together to maintain order in global trade, centered on free trade," he added.
The joint call for free trade came amid a US move to impose what many see as unreasonable and unwarranted tariffs on steel imports from many countries, possibly including South Korea.
Trudeau noted his country will likely be exempt from the additional US tariffs, but said he will still raise the issue at the upcoming Group of 7 summit, to be held in Canada in June, according to the Cheong Wa Dae spokesman.
Moon asked for Canada's continued support for his country's efforts to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula.
"President Moon explained recent progress, including the outcome of a North Korea trip by our delegation of special envoys, noting there have been positive developments on the Korean Peninsula following North Korea's participation in the (PyeongChang Winter) Olympic Games," Kim said.
The South Korean president is set for a historic summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
The North Korean leader also offered to hold a bilateral summit with US President Donald Trump while meeting with the South Korean envoys, led by Moon's top security advisor Chung Eui-yong, in Pyongyang on March 5.
Trudeau said it was Moon's leadership that enabled not only the upcoming inter-Korean summit but also what will be the first-ever US-North Korea summit.
"Canada, as a member of the international community and a strong ally, will actively support South Korea's efforts to peacefully resolve the North Korean nuclear issue," he was quoted as telling Moon.
The North Korea-US summit is widely expected to be held in May, following the inter-Korean summit, slated to be held in late April.(Yonhap)