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Korean, Vietnamese leaders agree to upgrade bilateral relations

June 8, 2022 - 17:20 By Shin Ji-hye
President Yoon Suk-yeol speaks with Vietnam’s Communist Party chief Nguyen Phu Trong in a video call in his presidential office on Wednesday. (Presidential office)

Korea and Vietnam will seek to elevate bilateral relations to a comprehensive strategic partnership, the two sides’ leaders agreed in a videoconference, Seoul officials said Wednesday.

According to a press release from the presidential office, President Yoon Suk-yeol and Vietnam’s Communist Party chief Nguyen Phu Trong held a video call in the morning to exchange views on ways to develop Korea-Vietnam relations, Korea-ASEAN cooperation and international issues.

The two leaders evaluated that the bilateral relations had become more robust as they went through crises such as the supply chain reorganization due to COVID-19. They also shared the view that upgrading bilateral relations to a comprehensive strategic partnership on the 30th anniversary of diplomatic ties this year will be a new starting point for the two countries to tackle future challenges together, the presidential office said.

Yoon said, “We will further strengthen cooperation with ASEAN, which is the key to freedom, peace and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region.” In response, Trong replied, “As the Korea-ASEAN dialogue coordinator, we will play a necessary role in promoting cooperation between the two sides.”

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations is a bloc of 10 countries in the region.

The two leaders also added that since this year marks the 30th anniversary of establishing diplomatic ties between the two countries, they look forward to developing bilateral relations through active exchanges between high-level officials.

After expressing serious concerns about North Korea’s recent series of provocations, President Yoon said, “We will keep the door for dialogue with North Korea open, but we will respond firmly to illegal acts such as provocations.”

He urged Vietnam to work together so that North Korea can come to the table of dialogue rather than provocation.

After the video call, an official from the spokesperson’s office told reporters, “The two leaders emphasized intimacy by calling each other ‘countries in-laws.’ saying that young men and women from both countries get married a lot.”