NATIONAL

Korea, Poland elevate ties to strategic partnership

By Korea Herald
  • Published : Oct 22, 2013 - 20:39
  • Updated : Oct 22, 2013 - 20:39

President Park Geun-hye and Poland’s President Bronislaw Komorowski hold a joint press conference after their talks at Cheong Wa Dae on Tuesday. (Yonhap News)
President Park Geun-hye and visiting Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski agreed on Tuesday to upgrade their countries’ bilateral ties to a “strategic partnership” for wider cooperation.

The two presidents agreed to expand cooperation substantially in the fields of defense, trade and investment, infrastructure, health and medical services, energy and IT, as well as e-government.

After the summit talks, Park and Komorowski oversaw the signing of a memorandum of understanding for wider defense cooperation, through which Korea hoped to set the momentum to export jet trainers and submarines.

The two countries also signed a revised protocol of the agreement to prevent double taxation to improve economic exchanges. Poland is one of Korea’s largest trade and investment partners in Central Europe.

Komorowski’s visit is the first by a European leader since Park assumed office. Park will make her first presidential visit to the continent next month by traveling to Britain, France and Belgium. The Oct. 21-24 visit is Komorowski’s first trip to South Korea since he took office in 2010.

Since forging ties in 1989, the two countries have stepped up their relations in various fields, and elevated them to a “future-oriented partnership” in 2004.

During the talks, Park expressed hope that the new partnership can further the two countries’ substantial cooperation based on their historical commonalities of rapidly achieving democracy and economic growth.

Komorowski echoed Park in that the Korea and Poland shared similar experiences and said they are strategically important partners for each other.

Park urged wider cooperation in pharmaceutical and medical fields such as Korea’s advanced IT-based medical system, while Komorowski responded by asking for more attention on Poland’s cosmetics and agricultural business advancement.

During the talks, Park also touted her “Eurasia Initiative” for a pan-continental energy and logistics infrastructure chain and said North Korea’s nuclear development and provocation remain a critical factor in achieving peace.

Park emphasized Poland’s role in addressing the North Korean nuclear issue as the inaugural member of the Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission. The NNSC was established by the Korean Armistice Agreement signed July 27, 1953, to manage relations between the two Koreas still technically at war.

By Lee Joo-hee (jhl@heraldcorp.com)