President Moon Jae-in and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison held a summit for 55 minutes from 11:15 this morning on the sidelines of the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting in Papua New Guinea. They engaged in extensive discussions about recent developments on the Korean Peninsula, regional and international issues, economic and trade cooperation and defense industry collaboration.
Congratulating Prime Minister Scott Morrison on his inauguration, President Moon noted that Korea and Australia, since establishing diplomatic ties in 1961, have shared such universal values as democracy and human rights as well as diplomatic and security goals of regional peace and prosperity.
Regarding a project to expand and extend motorways being implemented by the Australian state of New South Wales, the President asked his counterpart to take interest in Korean businesses so that they would be able to participate in the project.
Noting that cooperation between the federal and state governments of Australia ran smoothly in terms of important projects such as the expansion of motorways, Prime Minister Morrison said that he would welcome the investments of Korean businesses.
President Moon said that the number of people traveling back and forth between the two countries every year reached 450,000 and that more than 20,000 young Koreans were participating in Australia’s working holiday programs annually. The President added, "I look forward to bilateral exchanges expanding further through mutual visits by our two leaders."
The President spoke highly of the contributions to global peace and prosperity made by MIKTA, a consultative group of foreign ministers from key middle powers: Mexico, Indonesia, Korea, Turkey and Australia. Saying that the group needed to develop into a body attended by heads of state to strengthen its roles in the international arena, President Moon requested the Prime Minister's support. In reply, Prime Minister Morrison expressed agreement, adding that he would discuss the matter in a positive light.
President Moon explained about the latest developments on the Korean Peninsula, including the results of the inter-Korean summit in Pyeongyang. The President expressed his gratitude to Australia for its statements backing inter-Korean summits and other support, asking for that country’s continued interest and assistance.
In reply, Prime Minister Morrison said he highly regarded the achievements made to date, expressing the hope that these efforts would succeed.
President Moon asked for cooperation in providing DNA samples needed to help repatriate the remains of Australian soldiers, pointing out that many Australian soldiers died in the Korean War. Prime Minister Morrison said that the effort would be welcomed by the bereaved families and that he would review the matter.
In addition, the two leaders noted that there had been various discussions recently on promoting peace and prosperity in the region and exchanged their opinions on Korea’s New Southern Policy and Australia’s strategies toward the Indo-Pacific region.