The Foreign Affairs Committee met with the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs of the National Assembly of the Republic of Korea Shim Jae-Kwon and the accompanying delegation. The parties discussed extending cooperation in cyber field and trade, as well as the security policy situation on the Korean peninsula.
The Chairman of the Committee Marko Mihkelson said that it was in the best interests of Estonia and all the western allies to see the Korean peninsula become a nuclear free zone. “The only acceptable path to this is through diplomatic negotiations,” Mihkelson said. He expressed his hope that the sanctions set against North Korea would be implemented in full by all the parties, and that negotiations would be possible.
Mihkelson said that Estonia and South Korea have untapped potential for a significant boost in bilateral trade. “Estonia should be much more proactive in finding ways to enter the South Korean market, and should take advantage of the existing free trade agreement between the European Union and the Republic of Korea,” said Mihkelson, adding that the South Korean side has expressed its interest.
Mihkelson was happy that the defence cooperation between Estonia and South-Korea has reached a whole new level, particularly over the last couple of years. A memorandum of understanding has been signed for the acquisition of Korean K9 Thunder self-propelled howitzers, and cyber defence cooperation is advancing in leaps and bounds.
Mihkelson concluded the meeting by calling on Estonia and the Republic of Korea to seriously consider setting up diplomatic missions in each other’s capitals in the name of closer bilateral relations. “Estonia could only gain from a mission that focuses on economic relations,” Mihkelson said.
Vice-Chairman of the Committee Keit Pentus-Rosimannus said that we should continue developing cooperation in the field of cyber defence, because this is vital regardless of the geographical location of a country.
The Chairman of the Foreign Affairs of the National Assembly of the Republic of Korea confirmed the interest of his government both in a more extensive trade as well as in cooperation in cyber defence and e-governance.
Members of the Committee Barbi Pilvre and Henn Põlluaas also participated in the meeting.
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