President Moon Jae-in spoke on the phone with Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany Angela Merkel for 20 minutes from 6:00 p.m. today. The two leaders discussed issues of mutual interest.
President Moon began by congratulating her on the 30th anniversary of Germany’s reunification that falls on October 3, saying “It is also a meaningful, tremendously inspiring day for the Korean people who aspire to peace and unification on the Korean Peninsula.”
President Moon then expressed concern over the COVID-19 pandemic situation that has recently deteriorated once more globally. He said, “I respect the German Government for setting an example in response to COVID-19 under your leadership.” He went on to say, “I look forward to your country continuing to play a leading role in helping humanity overcome COVID-19.”
In reply, Chancellor Merkel said that she is filled with deep emotions about the 30th anniversary of Germany’s reunification and that she well understands Korea’s dream of unification. She went on to explain that her country intended to hold a lavish ceremony in celebration of the 30th anniversary, but the COVID-19 outbreak regrettably prevented that from happening. She added that she has immense interest in the response system the Korean Government has employed to stem the spread of the virus.
The two leaders also exchanged their opinions on the development of COVID-19 vaccines and treatments; bilateral cooperation, including through participation in the Seoul-based International Vaccine Institute; and the “fast-track” border entry program for essential travelers, including businesspeople.
President Moon underscored, “As we requested in the letter sent at the end of September, Korea has a firm belief that it has grown in the free trade order and that the WTO must play a pivotal role in safeguarding and advancing the multilateral trade system.” The President noted, “Since Korea’s Minister for Trade Yoo Myung-hee holds experience and expertise with her long career in the trade sector, she is the best person to promote the development of the WTO and restore trust in the multilateral trade system,” calling for Germany’s support.
In reply, Chancellor Merkel said that Minister Yoo is deemed to be a well-qualified person, equipped with abilities and expertise.
President Moon said, “I am looking forward to the COVID-19 outbreak being brought under control at the earliest date possible, allowing us to meet in person soon.” In response, Chancellor Merkel extended congratulations on Chuseok, one of Korea’s most important traditional holidays. Before concluding their call, the Chancellor said that though it was late evening in Korea, she hoped the President enjoyed the rest of the day.