President Moon Jae-in spoke on the phone with Prime Minister Boris Johnson of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland at the request of the British Government. Their telephone conversation lasted for 30 minutes from 5:30 p.m. today.
It was President Moon’s 58th phone call with a state leader since February 20 when he started telephone conversations with state leaders amid the COVID-19 crisis, including his calls intended to build support for Minister for Trade Yoo Myung-hee in the election of the World Trade Organization’s next Director-General.
In his capacity as Chair of the Group of Seven in 2021, Prime Minister Johnson began by expressing his intent to invite President Moon to the G7 Summit, slated for mid next year in the United Kingdom.
President Moon welcomed the United Kingdom’s assuming the G7 Chair next year and went on to say, “I am grateful to you for inviting me to the G7 Summit and am willing to actively cooperate with the United Kingdom and contribute so that the G7 Summit will be a success.”
President Moon then explained, “In tandem with the ASEM Summit in Cambodia, the Korean Government plans to host the 2nd P4G (Partnering for Green Growth and the Global Goals 2030) Summit in Seoul in late May next year.” The COVID-19 pandemic had necessitated postponement of both summits. The President added, “An official invitation letter will be sent to you soon, and I believe that your participation will make the P4G summit more meaningful.”
President Moon continued, “It should be noted that the United Kingdom as Chair of COP26, next year’s United Nations Climate Change Conference, is leading the international community’s climate change response. Last month, I declared Korea’s intention to become carbon-neutral by 2050, confirming my Administration’s commitment to actively respond to climate change in cooperation with the international community. I look forward to our two countries working closely together to cope with climate change.”
In response, Prime Minister Johnson congratulated President Moon on making the 2050 carbon neutrality pledge and said that the President’s remarkable move has attracted significant interest. The Prime Minister added that he would wait for the official invitation to the upcoming P4G Summit. Noting that Korea’s exemplary response to COVID-19 has set global standards, the Prime Minister said he sincerely congratulates President Moon on his achievements.
The two leaders shared their concerns about the recent worsening of the COVID-19 situation around the world and agreed to closely cooperate to end the pandemic, including on developing vaccines and treatments and strengthening health governance.
The two leaders noted how solid bilateral cooperation has been maintained even after Brexit, as evidenced by the Korea-UK FTA signed last year and the adoption of their joint statement on comprehensive partnership in political and global affairs. They agreed to continue to strengthen cooperation in various fields such as trade, security and the defense industry.
Both leaders expressed common understanding that AI, 5G and other digital technologies will be of great importance in the post-COVID-19 era. They agreed to expand bilateral cooperation to keep their countries at the forefront of these trends.
President Moon thanked Prime Minister Johnson for the words he spoke in a video message for an event to mark the 70th anniversary of the Korean War. Speaking about the British soldiers who served in the War, the Prime Minister had said: “When I look at your country today, I know their sacrifice was not in vain.” The President asked for the United Kingdom, a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council, to continue to support Korea’s efforts for denuclearization and the establishment of permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula going forward.
Prime Minister Johnson praised President Moon’s efforts to build on the Korean Peninsula peace process, promising the Korean Government the United Kingdom’s complete support and cooperation.