President Moon Jae-in and President Sauli Niinistö of Finland held one-on-one and expanded summits consecutively for approximately one hour and 20 minutes from 10:20 a.m. (local time) in Helsinki. The two presidents engaged in extensive discussions on a wide range of areas, including the development of bilateral ties, inclusive growth, the peace process on the Korean Peninsula and global cooperation.
Citing increases in bilateral trade and people-to-people exchanges as well as the launch of a direct flight between Busan and Helsinki, President Moon expressed expectations for even greater increases in exchanges of people and goods.
President Moon went on to say that Finland has taken the lead in promoting international peace. He added, “The Helsinki Process initiated by Finland is what helped put an end to the Cold War and facilitated reconciliation between the Eastern and Western blocs. It is a source of inspiration for the peace process on the Korean Peninsula.”
President Moon also extended his appreciation to the Government of Finland for consistently supporting the Korean Government’s efforts in regard to the peace process on the Peninsula. He asked for its continued interest and support.
Saying he believes that the success of the peace process on the Korean Peninsula constitutes the whole world's success, President Niinistö expressed his active support.
President Moon said, "If the peace process on the Korean Peninsula succeeds, it would mean peace in all of Northeast Asia and the world as well. Of course, it is not easy. Still, as with the Helsinki Process, it is crucial to work out resolutions by persistently engaging in dialogue with patience."
The two leaders also had in-depth discussions on the issue of their aging populations. President Niinistö pointed out the seriousness of the issue, but he said he believed that senior citizens could provide opportunities in various areas of society. President Niinistö proposed that they continue their discussions about the kinds of measures and cooperation needed.
President Moon noted in his reply, "Korea is expected to become a super-aged society in 2025 with more than 20 percent of its total population being 65 or older. Therefore, job opportunities and income guarantees are necessary for them. I hope we will be able to join forces to respond to the problems common to our two countries."
President Niinistö replied that Finland’s labor market is small, but if combined with that of Northern Europe, it would be helpful. Then, the Finnish President expressed the hope that people-to-people exchanges among young people would expand through Working Holiday and other programs.
President Moon said, “Young talented Koreans go abroad, and those from other countries come to Korea. I hope that talented individuals from both countries – based on the MOU about cooperating on the exchange of human resources to be signed during this trip – will be able to actively advance into the other nation.” The President requested that working holiday programs be swiftly implemented.
President Moon went on to say, “Korea considers the EU to be an essential partner. After my inauguration, I became the first Korean president to dispatch a special envoy to the EU. Pursuing peace as its most precious value, the EU has consistently supported the peace process on the Korean Peninsula.” The President also asked for close cooperation from Finland regarding strengthening Korea-EU relations as the Nordic country will assume the presidency of the Council of the European Union beginning in July.
At the summit, the two leaders also exchanged views on various areas such as climate change, gender equality and cooperation in the defense industry.