President Moon Jae-in, on his way to Argentina to attend the G20 Summit, made a visit to the Czech Republic and met with Prime Minister Andrej Babiš today. They discussed the latest developments on the Korean Peninsula and how to advance Korea-Czech Republic relations.
The two leaders noted steady progress in bilateral ties in a wide range of areas since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1990. They agreed to step up mutually beneficial cooperation in diverse fields to provide concrete substance to the strategic partnership established between the two countries in 2015.
Importantly, they agreed to continue to engage in close consultations in regard to the Czech Republic’s project to construct a nuclear power plant.
President Moon asked the Czech Government to consider Korean businesses, which possess technological expertise and operational and maintenance experience with nuclear power plants, so that they could participate in the project should the Czech Republic decide to implement it.
President Moon said, "Korea is now operating 24 nuclear power plants, and over the past 40 years, there has not been a single accident. In the case of the Barakah nuclear power plant in the United Arab Emirates, its construction was completed precisely as scheduled without incurring additional expenses, even though it was built in a unique desert environment."
In response, Prime Minister Babiš said that he was aware of cases of other countries failing to meet deadlines and added that his country's preparations were not finalized. Noting that he had also heard about the success of the Barakah project, the Prime Minister said that he highly regarded Korea's technologies related to nuclear plant safety.
The two leaders agreed to engage in consultations to ensure that Korean businesses can participate without difficulties in projects involving advanced industries such as AI and the development of lithium mines in the Czech Republic.
Concerning the European Union's safeguard measures on steel imports, President Moon said that most Korean steel products exported to the European Union went to Korea-invested auto and home appliance manufacturing facilities, contributing to increased production and job creation. In this regard, President Moon requested the Czech Republic's cooperation with the efforts to exempt Korean steel exports from the safeguard measures.
President Moon said that he was looking forward to various types of cooperation in the defense industry such as the export of finished goods, technical assistance and joint production by making the most of both countries’ strengths, including Korea’s export of the K-9 Thunder self-propelled howitzer.
President Moon explained recent progress related to the situation on the Korean Peninsula and the Korean Government’s efforts to achieve complete denuclearization and settle permanent peace on the Peninsula, asking for unwavering interest and support from the Czech Republic in that regard.
Prime Minister Babiš spoke highly of President Moon and the Korean Government’s efforts to establish peace on the Peninsula. He said that the Czech Republic, which maintains reciprocal diplomatic missions with North Korea,
would continue to support efforts to peacefully solve the North Korean nuclear issue and bring lasting peace to the Peninsula.
The talks between President Moon and Prime Minister Babiš are believed to have deepened and further developed the strategic partnership and served as an opportunity to reaffirm the Czech Republic’s steadfast support for the Korean Government’s efforts to establish permanent peace on the Peninsula.