President Moon Jae-in spoke on the phone with President of the Republic of Colombia Ivan Duque Marquez for 25 minutes from 11:00 a.m. today. During their telephone conversation arranged at the request of the Colombian President, the two leaders exchanged views on how to respond to the global challenge of the COVID-19 outbreak.
President Moon began by expressing his sympathy and condolences for the fact that Colombia has also reported a considerable number of confirmed COVID-19 cases and deaths recently. He expressed the hope that the Colombian Government’s strong responses under the leadership of President Duque would bring the outbreak under control as soon as possible.
President Duque replied by congratulating Korea on its excellent response to the COVID-19 outbreak. He went on to say that he has profound respect for the measures taken by Korea and wants to learn from the country. He then expressed his gratitude by saying that at a time when Colombia is facing its most challenging moment in history, it is very significant that the Korean Government has already decided to provide humanitarian assistance.
President Duque said that he realizes the brotherly affection between the two countries more acutely this year as it marks the 70th anniversary of Colombia’s participation in the Korean War. The Colombian President went on to say that it would be of great help to his country if Korea shared its experience responding to the COVID-19 outbreak at this time when Colombia is waging a war against an invisible enemy – following its participation in the fight to safeguard democracy in Korea 70 years ago.
In particular, President Duque said that his country plans to purchase ventilators and other medical supplies from Korea’s private sector and asked President Moon to show consideration and personally attend to the matter.
In reply, President Moon said, “Colombia is a friend that sent combat troops to fight along with us for the sake of liberty and peace during the Korean War, and the Korean people have not forgotten their gratitude.”
President Moon went on to say, “Since the COVID-19 outbreak is not an issue confined to a single country, the international community’s cooperation and solidarity are important. As Korea has accumulated relatively more experience and clinical data in the course of undergoing the outbreak earlier than countries in Latin America, it will actively share them with the international community, including Colombia.”
President Moon also said, “Separately from the request for humanitarian aid, Korea will cooperate to provide practical help – to the extent that the circumstances allow – with regard to the Korea-made diagnostic kits, ventilators and other medical supplies which Colombia has expressed its intention to purchase.” President Duque thanked the President several times by saying President Moon is his friend and expressed gratitude for numerous acts of assistance on behalf of the Colombian people as well.
The two leaders expressed their regret for the fact that President Duque’s state visit to Korea, initially planned for this April, was postponed due to Colombia’s domestic circumstances. They agreed to have consultations on President Duque’s visit to Korea through diplomatic channels as soon as the COVID-19 outbreak is brought under control.