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Within the framework of her visit to South Korea, today the President of the Riigikogu Ene Ergma met Prime Minister Kim Hwang-Sik and the Minister of Foreign Affairs Kim Sung-Hwan in Seoul. The Korean Government leader highlighted with recognition Estonia’s achievements in the development and practical realisation of e-services based on modern information technology. “Estonia’s development has been outstanding and full of valuable experiences and it is exciting to learn from for everybody,” he noted and he expressed the interest and willingness of the Korean side to tighten the cooperation in the future.

Ergma made a proposal to develop more active scientific cooperation. She also called on South Korean students to use more extensively the opportunities to study at Estonian universities.

Speaking about the worrying activities of North Korea in destabilising the region, the Prime Minister confirmed South Korea’s commitment to close cooperation with the international community with a view to finding solutions to the problem.

“The behaviour of North Korea is irresponsible and unacceptable internationally and inhuman with regard to its own citizens. Looking at where South Korea has reached in its developments during the last decades, ranking among the ten leading economies in the world, and at how the North Korean regime has led its society among the poorest in the world, then these things are not comparable. However, this is a proof as to where democracy and respect and development of human rights or, on the contrary, suppressing them, can lead to,” Ergma noted.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs Kim Sung-Hwan expressed his regret that the extensive food aid offered to North Korea had been hampered due to the unwillingness of the Communist regime to communicate and their insistent focus on the realisation of their nuclear programme.

Both the Prime Minister and the Minister of Foreign Affairs expressed their thanks to Estonia for supporting the candidates of the Republic of Korea in international organisations. They would like to have particularly close cooperation in the UN Human Rights Council.

Promising areas of cooperation between information technology enterprises of the two countries were also discussed at the meetings of the President of the Riigikogu and the delegation accompanying her at the Korea Communications Commission and the headquarters of Samsung Electronics. The hosts positively acknowledged Estonia’s progress in the development of e-state, and they were interested in the operating principles of various e-services offered by us and their popularity of use. Ergma introduced the newest e-initiatives of Estonia and invited the Korean side to participate in them.

Members of the Riigikogu Andres Anvelt, Mailis Reps, Sven Sester, Urve Tiidus and the Secretary General of the Riigikogu Maria Alajõe are also visiting Korea. 

Photos of the visit are available at: https://fotoalbum.riigikogu.ee/v/2013/Riigikogu/Korea/

The Riigikogu Press Service