President Moon Jae-in spoke on the phone with Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Spain Pedro Sánchez for 20 minutes from 5:00 p.m. today. The two leaders exchanged views on how the two countries could work together to overcome the COVID-19 outbreak that has been spreading across the globe recently.
President Moon said, “As the COVID-19 outbreak is a global challenge and not limited to a single country, cooperation and solidarity among the international community are needed more than ever.” He went on to say, “The Korean Government will actively share with the international community the experience and clinical data it accumulated during the process of quarantining and treating patients.”
In particular, President Moon highlighted, “At the extraordinary virtual G20 Leaders’ Summit on COVID-19 scheduled for this Thursday, the leaders of countries should send a unified and concerted message to the world.” The President also said, “I hope measures for international cooperation in both the quarantine and economic aspects will be discussed in depth.”
Prime Minister Sánchez said that he would like to congratulate the Korean Government on its great success in responding to the COVID-19 outbreak. He went on to say that at the extraordinary virtual G20 Leaders’ Summit, he can learn about Korea’s innovative movement to combat COVID-19 and its measures to cope with the crisis.
Prime Minister Sánchez noted that the pandemic unfolding before our eyes is not a regional issue but a global matter, emphasizing that all countries have to respond jointly, not individually. The Prime Minister also added that countries need to respond to economic and healthcare issues in a unified manner and make multilateral efforts to develop a COVID-19 vaccine as well.
Then, the Prime Minister asked that the two countries’ infectious disease specialists hold a video conference and Korea provide medical supplies in order to curb the spread of COVID-19 in his country.
In reply, President Moon said he would review ways to provide assistance within the extent possible in the context of international cooperation.
President Moon continued, “As this year marks the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Republic of Korea and the Kingdom Spain, it is an opportunity to further promote people-to-people and economic exchanges. However, it’s regrettable that relevant moves have been put on hold due to the COVID-19 outbreak. I look forward to the Prime Minister’s consideration and support so that essential exchanges can continue between the two countries’ businesspeople.”
Prime Minister Sánchez expressed the hope that even though countries around the world have placed bans on the movement of supplies and people, trade and people-to-people exchanges could remain undisrupted.
President Moon said, “I recently saw on TV how the people of Spain who are staying home gave each other words of encouragement from their balconies every evening and applauded medical professionals to thank them for their hard work, in the hope of surmounting the COVID-19 outbreak. I believe that the Prime Minister’s leadership and the Spanish Government’s various response measures will allow the people to come together as one and that this kind of solidarity help bring the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak in the country under control as soon as possible.
Prime Minister Sánchez expressed his gratitude by replying that President Moon’s warm-hearted remarks are comforting and inspiring. The Prime Minister wished President Moon the best of luck with the various tasks he is pursuing.