Participation by S. Korea, Australia would contribute to G7, leaders agree

August 14, 2020

The leaders of South Korea and Australia agreed Friday that if their countries participate in the Group of Seven (G7), it would help the club of advanced economies play a bigger role in the international community, according to Cheong Wa Dae.

President Moon Jae-in and Prime Minister Scott Morrison had a 35-minute telephone conversation to discuss cooperation on the coronavirus pandemic and bilateral relations.

U.S. President Donald Trump said in May he wants to invite South Korea, Australia, India and probably Russia to join the G7 forum, as he seeks to host an expanded summit later this year.

Moon and Morrison agreed the two countries’ participation would help enhance the G7′s regional representation and contribute to its response to various pending global issues in the post-coronavirus era, Moon’s spokesman Kang Min-seok said.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in holds phone talks with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison in Seoul on Aug. 14, 2020, in this photo provided by Cheong Wa Dae. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE)

South Korean President Moon Jae-in holds phone talks with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison in Seoul on Aug. 14, 2020, in this photo provided by Cheong Wa Dae. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE)

South Korea and Australia have long cooperated strategically on the global stage as members of the MIKTA middle-power group along with Mexico, Indonesia and Turkey.

The leaders also agreed on partnerships between the two sides in connection with the development and supply of COVID-19 vaccine. Moon asked Australia to join the International Vaccine Institute, based in Seoul.

The prime minister said his government will “consider (it) positively,” Kang added.

Morrison noted close bilateral trade ties and Moon requested Australia’s support for South Korean Trade Minister Yoo Myung-hee’s bid to become the next head of the World Trade Organization, Kang said.

It marked their first phone conversation since April.

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