Moon and Vietnam’s top leader hold phone talks, agree on closer cooperation

SEOUL-- South Korean President Moon Jae-in had phone talks Thursday with Vietnam's top leader, Nguyen Phu Trong, on ways to strengthen bilateral ties and cooperation on major regional and global issues, Cheong Wa Dae said.

It marked the first summit-level consultations between the two countries since the election of Vietnam's new communist party leadership in January.

Moon and Trong, general secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) Central Committee, agreed to proactively cooperate for the development of the "strategic cooperative partnership" between the two sides, according to Cheong Wa Dae. In 2022, they will commemorate the 30th anniversary of forging bilateral diplomatic ties.

Despite the COVID-19 crisis, Moon noted, South Korea and Vietnam maintained the pre-coronavirus level of two-way trade volume last year. He expressed hope for close cooperation to achieve the goal of increasing it to at least US$100 billion by 2023.

The Vietnamese leader also proposed joint efforts to expand investment and partnership in the global supply chains to that end, as well as to promote parliamentary cooperation.

He congratulated South Korea on being recognized formally as an advanced economy by the U.N. Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

Moon stressed that Vietnam is a core partner for South Korea's New Southern Policy. The two countries have "special relations", he said, adding that more than 9,000 South Korean firms are doing business in Vietnam. More than 200,000 South Koreans reside in the Southeast Asian country, with as many Vietnamese people living here.

The president requested that Vietnam play a role as a non-permanent member of the U.N. Security Council for the early resumption of dialogue with North Korea.

Trong replied that his country supports the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and related talks.

On Myanmar, Moon said he hopes for close communication for its democracy and Throng agreed to work together for peace and stability of the country.

They also agreed to bolster coordination in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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