On the sidelines of the G7 Summit in the English county of Cornwall, President Moon Jae-in held a summit today with Prime Minister Boris Johnson of the United Kingdom, chair country of this year’s G7 meeting. The two leaders exchanged a variety of views on global challenges as well as pending bilateral issues.
President Moon said, “Prime Minister Johnson’s decisive action made the United Kingdom the first country in the world to start vaccinating against COVID-19 and set a global example for overcoming the crisis as its economic growth rate is expected to break 5 percent despite the pandemic.” He went on to say, “This year’s G7 Summit chaired by the United Kingdom will become a clear milestone for the world to build back better. I am pleased that the Republic of Korea is joining efforts to that end.”
Prime Minister Johnson said that President Moon’s leadership has helped Korea provide excellent examples of epidemic prevention and control and that the United Kingdom needs to learn many things from Korea.
President Moon replied, “The United Kingdom sent more than 80,000 soldiers during the Korean War and forged ties with us through blood, and Koreans remember this invaluable friendship.” Prime Minister Johnson responded that Britain values its partnership with Korea and looks forward to strengthening bilateral security cooperation.
Sharing the results of the recent ROK-U.S. summit, President Moon said, “President Biden agreed with a phased approach based on diplomacy and dialogue that builds on existing agreements such as the 2018 Panmunjom Declaration and Singapore Joint Statement. As he has also clearly indicated his strong intention to resume talks with North Korea by appointing a U.S. Special Representative for North Korea Policy, we look forward to a positive response from North Korea.” Prime Minister Johnson replied that he supports the Korean Peninsula peace process, pointing out that his country has an embassy in North Korea.
Returning to the COVID-19 crisis, President Moon said, “U.K.-based AstraZeneca developed the main vaccine used in Korea.” Prime Minister Johnson proposed creating a framework that will allow Korea and the United Kingdom to seek in-depth cooperation on various topics.
The two leaders also exchanged views on climate change issues. President Moon said, “The United Kingdom is well known as the first among the G7 countries to set a legislatively approved 2050 Carbon Neutrality goal.” The President added that Korea plans to further strengthen its nationally determined contribution for 2030 and announce it at COP26 [the 26th U.N. Climate Change Conference of the Parties] which will be hosted by the United Kingdom this year. Prime Minister Johnson highly praised Korea’s efforts to respond to climate change, referring to his virtual attendance at the 2021 P4G Seoul Summit.
President Moon and Prime Minister Johnson also exchanged a wide range of views on the matters of marine pollution, the Iranian nuclear issue and the latest developments in Myanmar.
Having spoken on the phone ten days prior on June 3, the two leaders used this opportunity at the G7 Summit to discuss linking Britain’s Indo-Pacific Strategy with Korea’s New Southern Policy. They also promised to establish clear momentum for both countries to be reborn as more robust partners in the post-COVID-19 era by broadening the scope of their cooperation in green technology development, high-tech industries, healthcare and medical services.