S. Korea, Austria agree to deepen partnership in science, high-tech fields

VIENNA-- The leaders of South Korea and Austria agreed during summit talks here Monday that the two sides are "optimal" partners in the new industrial era and discussed ways to deepen forward-looking bilateral ties, Cheong Wa Dae said.

President Moon Jae-in arrived in the Austrian capital on Sunday evening for a state visit at the invitation of President Alexander Van der Bellen. Moon became the first South Korean president to travel formally to Austria since the two nations forged diplomatic ties in 1892.

In their summit, the two discussed a broad range of issues, including bilateral relations, climate and environment as well as the Korean Peninsula security situations, according to Moon's office.

They shared the view that South Korea and Austria are "optimal partners for cooperation in response to the fourth industrial era," it said.

They especially agreed to continue collaboration for synergy between Austria's prowess in science, technology and cutting-edge industries and South Korea's world-class capabilities on commercialization and industrialization, it added.

Moon pointed out that two-way trade volume had increased 11 percent to US$2.7 billion in 2020 from $2.4 billion a year earlier despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

Moon and van der Bellen also agreed to work together for the vision of net-zero carbon emissions.

On the Korea peace process, Moon requested continued support from Austria, a global leader in the disarmament and nonproliferation fields. Austria is home to more than 40 international organizations, such as OSCE, IAEA and CTBTO.

The Austrian leader reaffirmed his country's unswerving support for Seoul's campaign to establish peace on the Korean Peninsula.

Right after their talks, the two attended the signing ceremony of a pact on promoting cultural cooperation.

Earlier in the day, Moon attended an official welcoming ceremony held at the Hofburg Palace. Austria is the second leg of his three-nation Europe tour. He joined a G-7 summit in Britain and plans to make a state visit to Spain from Tuesday.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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