President Moon Jae-in spoke on the phone with President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev of the Republic of Kazakhstan from 5:30 p.m. today.
President Moon began by saying, “It is very important that a candidate with the ability and a vision to restore confidence in the multilateral trade system should be elected as the World Trade Organization’s next Director-General.” Regarding Korea’s Minister for Trade Yoo Myung-hee, who has advanced to the final round in the election, President Moon asked for support from Kazakhstan, one of key nations targeted in Korea’s New Northern Policy.
President Moon also emphasized that Minister Yoo is the most qualified candidate who can coordinate the sharply divergent interests of the advanced and developing nations and successfully carry out reform of the WTO.
The success of next year’s WTO Ministerial Conference in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan, is at the top of President Tokayev’s agenda, and he welcomed the Korean candidate’s advance to the final round. Noting that he is well aware of the broad support for Minister Yoo from many countries, President Tokayev said he wished her success going forward.
President Tokayev said that his country is ready to repatriate the remains of General Hong Beom-do and expressed the hope that the repatriation ceremony would be able to be held in Korea as soon as COVID-19 is brought under control.
In reply, President Moon said, “I would like to thank President Tokayev once more for deciding to return the remains of General Hong Beom-do. I look forward to holding a ceremony to commemorate the repatriation of the remains when President Tokayev visits Korea.”
President Moon plans to speak again with President Sebastián Piñera of the Republic of Chile from 8:30 p.m. and ask for support for Minister Yoo.
By the end of today, President Moon will have spoken with leaders of 13 countries in total (including President Piñera and leaders of five countries after Minister Yoo entered the second round of the election process) to support Minister Yoo.
The country-by-country consultation for the election of the WTO Director-General will be held in Geneva, Switzerland, until October 27 (local time). Based on the results of this consultation, the next Director-General is chosen by consensus.