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Top envoys of S. Korea, UK agree to tackle climate change, COVID-19 vaccines

May 7, 2021 - 14:18 By Ahn Sung-mi
Britain's Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, left, and South Korea's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chung Eui-yong, walk in the grounds of Chevening House, Kent, England on Thursday. (AP-Yonhap)

South Korean Foreign Minister Chung Eui-yong held talks with his British counterpart, Dominic Raab, and the two sides agreed to tackle climate change and cooperate on the fair distribution of the COVID-19 vaccines, the Foreign Ministry said Friday. 

The two envoys held a strategic dialogue Thursday at Chevening House near London, a day after the Group of Seven ministerial meeting ended in the British capital. 

Both sides agreed that the strengthening of international cooperation beyond bilateral relations, including at the G-7 level, is crucial to tackle pending global issues, including climate change and responses to COVID-19, the ministry here said in a press release. 

The two ministers also committed to work together to ensure equitable access to vaccines and strengthen international solidarity and cooperation to overcome COVID-19. 

They also agreed to collaborate in order for Seoul and London to successfully host their respective forums on climate change this year. South Korea is hosting the Partnering for Green Growth and the Global Goals Summit on May 30-31, and the UN Climate Change Conference is slated to take place in November in Glasgow. 

The two decided to strengthen their countries’ cooperation in the post-Brexit era by faithfully implementing the free trade agreement signed in August 2019 between the two countries. 

Chung also asked for the UK’s continued interest and cooperation in Seoul’s efforts for the complete denuclearization of and the establishment of permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula. Raab, in turn, threw his support in this regard and toward Seoul’s efforts to improve inter-Korean relations. 

During his trip to the British capital, Chung has called on the G-7 members and participating countries for their interest and support in the Korean peace process. South Korea was invited as a guest -- along with Australia, India, South African and Brunei -- to this year’s session of the Group of Seven wealthy democracies. 

He held separate bilateral sessions on the sidelines of the G-7 forum, including with the US, Brunei, Japan, Canada, the EU, Germany and Australia. Chung also joined a three-way session with the US and Japan, underscoring trilateral cooperation in dealing with North Korea’s nuclear and missile development. 

By Ahn Sung-mi (