President Moon Jae-in on Aug. 17 held summit talks with Kazak President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev on expanding their strategic partnership relations and boosting bilateral cooperation.
This is the second summit between the two leaders since their last in the Kazakh capital of Nursultan in April 2019.
Both sides leaders reviewed the results of bilateral cooperation projects being carried out since their 2019 summit, and discussed further development of ties, with next year to mark the 30th anniversary of relations, and enhancement of practical cooperation.
The two presidents adopted a joint statement on expanding their strategic partnership relations that contain the two countries’ commitments for strengthening the partnership, boosting practical ties and bolstering cooperation between Korea and Central Asia. In the statement, the two countries agreed to widen cooperation in new industries based on the economic cooperation program “Fresh Wind” that they adopted in 2019. As part of the program, Korea and Kazakhstan have pushed for the construction of Almaty Ring Road and completed an automotive plant in Almaty late last year.
Focusing on Fourth Industrial Revolution sectors, both countries decided to strengthen cooperation in promising sectors such as big data and commercialization of 5G mobile communication, and expand cooperation in the health care and medical sector including e-health, collaboration in projects with the private sector, and exchanges of medical personnel and knowledge. They also agreed to raise cooperation in space technologies based on a memorandum of understanding on the space industry.
The two leaders agreed to jointly respond to global issues such as climate change and strengthen cooperation on the international stage. Based on their cooperation in COVID-19, both sides agreed on joint efforts in the prevention, management and response to infectious diseases.
Kazakhstan also agreed to work with Korea to respond to climate change through international organizations such as the Korea-led Global Green Growth Institute.
The two presidents decided to name 2022 “Year of Korea-Kazakhstan Cultural Exchange” to mark the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations and extend human and cultural exchanges. A number of events will expand people-to-people exchanges and joint efforts will go toward promoting such exchanges.
Calling the Kazak leader “the first foreign head of state for Korea to receive since the outbreak of COVID-19,” President Moon emphasized the bilateral friendship and thanked the Kazak government for helping return the remains of Gen. Hong Beom-do, commander-in-chief of the Greater Korea Independence Army and independence fighter, on the occasion of President Tokayev’s state visit. The two leaders again showed the deep friendship between both countries by attending the ceremony to posthumously bestow the Order of Merit for National Foundation, Republic of Korea Medal, to Gen. Hong.