Foreign Minister Meets with the UK Chancellor of the Exchequer
1. On December 16, Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se met with Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond of the UK during the Chancellor's visit to the Republic of Korea. In the meeting, the two ranking officials engaged in an extensive exchange of views on ways to advance the ROK-UK relations as well as nuclear and other issues of North Korea.
2. The Minister and the Chancellor noted with appreciation that the ministerial consultative channels between their two countries in the four areas of foreign affairs, economy and trade, finance and creative industry are contributing to the "comprehensive and creative partnership" between their two countries.
Minister Yun, citing the largest-ever volume of bilateral trade in 2015 despite the global economic slowdown, voiced hope that the growing economic cooperation between the two countries will lead to more bilateral investment and nuclear cooperation.
Chancellor Hammond, calling the ROK an important partner for the implementation of Prime Minister May's "Great Britain" initiative, suggested that the two countries seek to build future-oriented trade ties, including by boosting trade and investment through their Joint Economic and Trade Committee.
3. Minister Yun extended appreciation to Chancellor Hammond for advancing the ROK-UK friendly and cooperative ties on both regional and global levels during his service as Foreign Secretary. He voiced hope that the "Korea-UK Season" in 2017 and 2018 will help tighten the friendship between the peoples of the two countries.
Chancellor Hammond expressed personal pleasure over the fact that he, together with Foreign Minister Yun, had played a role in the rapid development of the ROK-UK relations. He added that regardless of the UK's decision to withdraw from the EU, the ROK-UK relations will continue to move forward.
4. Minister Yun, commending the UK for its leading role as a permanent member of the UN Security Council in the adoption of Security Council Resolution 2321 in November, asked the UK government to remain cooperative with the EU in its efforts to enforce tough sanctions and put strong pressure on North Korea across the board.
Chancellor Hammond, recognizing the need for stern international responses to North Korea's nuclear tests, stated that the UK will take an active part in the international efforts to thoroughly implement relevant Security Council resolutions and in the EU's work to adopt additional unilateral sanctions.
5. Chancellor Hammond's visit to the ROK is seen to have served as an opportunity to reaffirm the UK commitment to increase its cooperation with the ROK in political affairs, economy, culture and various other sectors regardless of the UK decision to withdraw from the EU, and to cooperate firmly on nuclear and other issues of North Korea.
Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs Republic of Korea