S. Korea, U.S. sign MOU on development aid cooperation

SEOUL-- South Korea and the United States have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on enhancing bilateral cooperation in providing assistance to developing countries, Seoul's foreign ministry said Tuesday.

The agreement was signed between Oh Hyun-joo, director-general at the ministry's development cooperation bureau, and Christopher Maloney, assistant to the administrator in the U.S. Agency for International Development's (USAID) bureau for policy, planning and learning, in Washington on Monday (U.S. time).

The MOU is a follow-up to the vice ministerial talks the two sides held in December last year, in which they agreed to strengthen cooperation in various economic fields, including international development aid.

Through the agreement, the two countries will seek to expand cooperation under the frameworks of South Korea's New Southern Policy and the U.S.' Indo-Pacific strategy -- their respective regional initiatives -- particularly in the fields of women's empowerment, digital economy, health and education, the ministry said.

The New Southern Policy aims to deepen Seoul's economic and diplomatic cooperation with Southeast Asian nations and India. The Indo-Pacific Strategy seeks to protect the economically vibrant region from any attempt at blocking the global commons, such as freedom of navigation and commerce on the high seas.

The Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) and USAID, the executive bodies for development assistance, will continue to work together to carry out relevant projects through regular consultation, it added.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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