By Kim Eun-young and Lee Jihae
President Moon Jae-in and Finnish President Sauli Niinisto on June 10 discussed the inter-Korean peace process and boosting bilateral ties in their summit in Helsinki.
In a joint news conference after their talks, President Moon said, "The inter-Korean peace process has made great strides," adding, "I hope that the momentum for dialogue continues so that we can resume dialogue between the two Koreas as well as between the U.S. and North Korea."
He also thanked the Finnish government for hosting last year a tripartite dialogue among the governments and private organizations of both Koreas and the U.S., as well as four-way talks involving the two Koreas, the U.S. and China, saying such events raised understanding among the participating nations.
Niinisto said, "Once Finland becomes the president of the European Union Council, we will actively foster discussions on the inter-Korean peace process," adding, "We're always prepared to provide diplomatic support (for a third U.S.-North Korean summit)."
The council presidency rotates every six months among member states, with Finland slated to take over from July 1.
The two leaders also decided to launch from March next year direct flights connecting Busan and Helsinki. They also agreed to discuss tackling the rapid aging of society, promoting gender equality, and fostering balance between family and work in addition to pledging cooperation for combating climate change.
Seoul and Helsinki will also expand exchanges of human resources and materials. In addition, both sides ratified three memorandums of understanding on bilateral cooperation in innovative startups and small to medium companies, energy, and gender equality and family as well as one on a revised aviation agreement.