South Korean President Moon Jae-in has asked for Sri Lanka’s support in ending North Korea’s nuclear and missile provocations, calling the North’s latest missile test staged earlier in the day a grave challenge to global peace, the Korea Herald reported today.
President Moon said he strongly condemn North Korea’s ‘reckless provocation’ that raises tension on the Korean Peninsula and seriously threatens international peace and stability.
“Our government will do its utmost to strongly and firmly deal with such provocations to the end together with Sri Lanka and all other countries,” he said.
President Moon and President Maithripala Sirisena on Wednesday agreed to further improve bilateral ties, enhance economic and diplomatic cooperation to boost bilateral trade apart from peacefully resolving the North Korean nuclear issue.
The agreement was made during a summit held between the two Presidents at the South Korean presidential office Cheong Wa Dae.
President Moon has expressed gratitude for what he called Sri Lanka’s support and cooperation in dealing with the North Korean nuclear issue, Cheong Wa Dae has said in a press release.
According to Cheong Wa Dae pool reports, President Moon has said their government was actively pursuing the New South Policy that seeks to ensure peace and co-prosperity of a joint community through cooperation with Southeast and Southwest Asian countries.
“As Sri Lanka is an important partner in our New South Policy, I wish the two countries will pool their wisdom and strength to ensure peace not only in Sri Lanka but also in our entire region,” he said.
President Sirisena was quoted as saying Sri Lanka would continue to fully implement UN Security Council sanctions against North Korea.
“Another thing I wish to stress is that Sri Lanka will always support South Korea on both domestic and international issues. I believe what you Mr. President declared in Berlin will contribute greatly to establishing peace on the Korean Peninsula, and I support them,” he said.
President Sirisena arrived in Seoulon Tuesday on a three-day state visit. He is the third foreign leader to make a state visit to South Korea since Moon’s inauguration.
Wednesday’s summit also followed what Cheong Wa Dae called a friendly meeting between the two leaders on Tuesday, when the South Korean president accompanied the Sri Lankan leader on a brief visit to a Buddhist temple in Seoul.
In their first bilateral summit, the two leaders noted their countries’ relationship has steadily developed over the last four decades since they established diplomatic ties in 1977 and agreed to continue building their cooperative relationship as partners for peace and prosperity.
To this end, the leaders agreed to increase exchanges between their ranking government officials and boost cooperation in the defense industry.
According to Cheong Wa Dae, Seoul would also increase its low-interest loans to Sri Lanka under its Economic Development Cooperation Fund to US$500 million from the current $300 million in the 2017-2019 period.
“In addition, the two leaders agreed to work together to make sure Sri Lankan workers in South Korea under the country’s Employment Permit System will serve as a bridge between the two countries, and expand the countries’ exchanges in the cultural and tourism sectors,” it said noting there were currently around 30,000 Sri Lankan workers in South Korea.
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