Leaders of S. Korea, Netherlands agree to boost ties, economic cooperation

SEOUL, Feb. 9 (Yonhap) -- South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte agreed Friday to further enhance the countries' bilateral cooperation, especially in the information technology and clean energy sectors.

The agreement came in a bilateral summit held in PyeongChang, the host city of the 2018 Winter Olympic Games located some 180 kilometers east of Seoul.

"The leaders of the two countries agreed to expand the countries' cooperation, noting great potential for additional cooperation between the two countries in areas such as big data, support for startup businesses, advanced farming and clean energy sectors," Moon's presidential office Cheong Wa Dae said in a press release.

"President Moon expressed gratitude for the visit by Prime Minister Rutte, King Willem-Alexander and many others from the royal family to celebrate the Olympic Games, and expressed hope that the Netherlands, which is a speed skating powerhouse, will have great results at the PyeongChang Olympics," Cheong Wa Dae said.

Prime Minister Rutte also expressed hope for great performances by South Korean athletes, saying he is convinced the Olympics will contribute to peace and unity of all people around the globe, it added.

The Moon-Rutte summit came hours before the Feb. 9-25 Olympics were set to start in an opening ceremony with some 2,900 athletes from 92 countries, including North Korea.

The North agreed to take part in the Winter Olympic Games in inter-Korean dialogue held last month. So far, the divided Koreas have held three rounds of dialogue, marking the first of their kind in more than two years.

Moon asked for the Netherlands' support to make sure the recently resumed inter-Korean dialogue will continue even after the Winter Olympics and eventually lead to international talks on denuclearizing the communist state. The Netherlands currently sits on the U.N. Security Council as a non-permanent rotating member, as well as on the council's North Korea sanctions committee, according to Cheong Wa Dae.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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