I am glad to see Your Excellency, Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, again after our meeting in Singapore last November. I am truly grateful to you for the warm hospitality extended to me and my delegation. It is the first state visit to Malaysia by a Korean President in nine years and, for my part, it is the first overseas tour of the year. It is very meaningful for me to become the first state guest of His Majesty Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah who was enthroned this January and, at the same time, the first state guest since the launch of Malaysia’s new Administration in May 2018.
I would like to pay tribute to your strategic vision and outstanding leadership that have helped Malaysia achieve exemplary progress through innovative endeavors while embracing diversity. Since the establishment of diplomatic ties in 1960, our two countries have worked together to give substance to friendly and cooperative relations in various areas, including foreign affairs, security, trade, investment, and cultural and people-to-people exchanges. Among other things, the Look East Policy you have implemented was of great help in advancing relations between our two countries.
Extending my profound appreciation to you and the Government of Malaysia for fully supporting my Administration's peace process on the Korean Peninsula, I also hope that you will continue to share your wisdom with us.
I am actively pursuing my New Southern Policy as an initiative to significantly upgrade Korea-ASEAN relations to a level above those we have with the United States, China, Japan and Russia, the four nations whose interests have traditionally converged on the Korean Peninsula. I am looking forward to building a people-centered community of peace and prosperity by harmoniously pursuing my New Southern Policy in tandem with your Look East Policy.
With this visit ahead of the 60th anniversary of diplomatic ties next year, I hope our two countries will raise our relations a notch higher to a strategic partnership. In particular, I wish that Korea and Malaysia will go beyond the level of existing cooperation to achieve a higher standard of collaboration in the new technologies and industries of the Fourth Industrial Revolution as well.