President Moon Jae-in and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison held a summit for 30 minutes from 12:28 p.m. today (local time) at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.
In his opening remarks, President Moon said, “Australia is Korea’s long-established friendly partner and true friend that sent over 17,000 troops to fight in the Korean War. Our two countries’ friendship has led to vibrant economic and people-to-people exchanges that have evolved into deeper cooperative ties in energy resources and infrastructure. I hope we can continue to work together toward a genuine partnership by expanding the scope of cooperation to include national defense, the hydrogen economy and core minerals.
I am grateful to the Australian Government for its support to settle peace on the Korean Peninsula. It is my hope that our two nations will closely cooperate to expedite the establishment of peace on the Peninsula through the efforts of the international community. As our two countries are both MIKTA members, along with Mexico, Indonesia and Turkey, I believe we will be able to work together more closely in responding to a rapidly changing environment. I look forward to this summit serving as a venue for extensive discussions on measures for future-oriented collaboration between our two countries.”
Prime Minister Morrison said that it has been 10 years since a president of the Republic of Korea last paid a visit to Australia. Saying that a visit by President Moon would be welcomed by many, the Prime Minister expressed his intention to extend an invitation. After suggesting that the countries have a friendly soccer match, the Prime Minister added that it could be called the President’s Cup.
President Moon continued the good humor, saying “Korea once failed to make it to the World Cup finals due to a loss to Australia. If a friendly is held, the Korean team will undoubtedly win.”
At the summit, the two leaders agreed to make efforts to further expand substantive bilateral cooperation in such areas as education, investment, infrastructure, national defense and the defense industry.
Prime Minister Morrison noted that Korean companies excel in technology, particularly in the defense industry, infrastructure and automobiles, and also expressed his hope for the building of win-win trade relations in various economic sectors.
Speaking of fallen Korean War soldiers discovered during excavations at the Arrowhead Ridge battleground, President Moon said, “The remains that have been identified so far have all been returned to their families. The Korean Government will provide full support to ensure that the remains of Australian soldiers can be identified correctly through consultations between our two countries.”
In response, Prime Minister Morrison expressed his profound gratitude to the Korean Government for making considerable efforts to excavate and repatriate the remains. The Prime Minister stressed that Australia will continue to send unwavering support for the success of the peace process on the Korean Peninsula.
Noting that Korea is the chair country of MIKTA next year, President Moon called for the Australian Government’s interest and support to ensure that the partnership can play a constructive role in the international community. Prime Minister Morrison said Australia will continue to consult Korea so that major decisions can be made through MIKTA.