By Lee Kyoung Mi and Yoon Sojung
President Moon Jae-in on April 7 held telephone conversations with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Polish President Andrzej Duda on cooperation in tackling the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
The Australian leader said that he knows well how successfully Korea has responded to the COVID-19 outbreak through strong leadership. He appreciated Korea for setting an example for the world and explained that Australia, too, is making efforts to emulate the Korean model.
He added that "Australia needs Korea's assistance to fight COVID-19," requesting Seoul's support for the import of Korea-made diagnostic kits and other quarantine supplies.
Showing his willingness to cooperate with Canberra, President Moon said, "Details should be discussed through diplomatic channels."
"I hope that essential bilateral exchanges and cooperation will continue," said the president, mentioning the consensus reached by G-20 leaders in the 2020 Extraordinary Virtual Leaders' Summit on March 26, when they expressed the need to allow travel by essential persons such as business leaders.
"I look forward to the Prime Minister’s consideration and support that will help allow businesspeople to enter each other’s country for urgent visits if they meet certain requirements," said President Moon.
Expressing agreement with the president, the prime minister proposed a bilateral summit via videoconferencing within the year.
Following his phone call with the Australian leader, President Moon held another call with Polish President Andrzej Duda.
President Duda said, "Korea, through active diagnoses, has responded more effectively to the COVID-19 outbreak than any other country in the world," expressing interest in buying Korea's disinfection goods.
President Moon responded by saying, "We will give positive consideration if details about the requests for cooperation are forwarded through diplomatic channels."
Later that day, President Moon sent a tweet wishing a speedy recovery to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who was in intensive care at a hospital after testing positive for COVID-19.