By Xu Aiying and Lee Jihae
President Moon Jae-in on Jan. 22 held his first phone summit of the year in a 30-minute talk from 11 a.m. with Costa Rican President Carlos Alvarado Quesada.
Cheong Wa Dae Spokesperson Kang Min-seok in a written briefing said the Central American nation proposed the call to discuss cooperation in COVID-19 responses and economy such as President Moon's Green New Deal initiative.
President Moon alluded to how the Costa Rican leader in a speech made in May last year mentioned Korea's COVID-19 response and innovation in science and technology, saying, "I hope that the Korean Government's humanitarian assistance and sharing of its experience in COVID-19 epidemic prevention and control have been of help to the Government and people of Costa Rica.”
President Alvarado thanked Korea for sending KF94 masks worth USD 1 million to Costa Rica and exchanging its know-how in COVID-19 response through videoconferencing, saying Korea sent "the world's best" quarantine supplies.
He said that as chair of the Central American Integration System this year, Costa Rica can play the role of bridgehead to assist Korean participation in projects based in other Central American countries. He also asked President Moon to attend the SICA summit slated for June.
President Alvarado said he hopes the two leaders can enjoy soju, a traditional Korean liquor, and kimchi in Costa Rica as soon as possible and that he will prepare high-quality coffee as a gift.
President Moon said, "Costa Rica has long been a friendly nation that shares our key values such as democracy, human rights and peace. I hope that our two countries' comprehensive cooperative partnership will be further deepened.”
He also asked President Alvarado to attend in May the Partnering for Green Growth and the Global Goals 2030 Summit in Seoul.