Moon, Merkel vow to boost cooperation on N. Korea, trade

July 5, 2017
South Korean President Moon Jae-in (L) and German Chancellor Angela Merkel hold a joint press conference shortly before the start of their bilateral summit in Berlin on July 5, 2017. (Yonhap)

South Korean President Moon Jae-in (L) and German Chancellor Angela Merkel hold a joint press conference shortly before the start of their bilateral summit in Berlin on July 5, 2017. (Yonhap)

SEOUL, July 6 (Yonhap) — The leaders of South Korea and Germany agreed to boost their countries’ cooperation in ending North Korea’s nuclear ambitions, vowing to use all available means, Seoul’s presidential office, Cheong Wa Dae, said Thursday.

The agreement by South Korean President Moon Jae-in and German Chancellor Angela Merkel came at their bilateral summit in Berlin on Wednesday (Berlin time), according to Cheong Wa Dae.

Moon is currently on a two-day visit to the German capital. He will leave Thursday for Hamburg, where he and the German head of state will join 18 other global leaders for the annual Group of 20 summit.

The new South Korean president’s trip to Germany came shortly after North Korea test launched what could be its first intercontinental ballistic missile.

The South Korean and German leaders agreed to closely work together to “fundamentally” resolve the North Korean nuclear issue through all available means, including sanctions and dialogue, Cheong Wa Dae said.

In addition, Merkel expressed her support for Seoul’s leadership in international efforts to rid North Korea of its nuclear ambitions, it added.

Merkel also expressed hope the countries’ cooperation will further develop into what she called a multi-dimensional partnership, calling South Korea an important partner in Asia that shares universal values with her country.

To this end, the two leaders agreed to launch strategic talks between their foreign ministers, according to Cheong Wa Dae.

They also agreed to expand the countries’ trade relationship, noting the Korea-EU free trade agreement was becoming an exemplary deal that underscores the importance of free trade and market liberalization.

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