Moon, Turnbull agree to jointly fight trade protectionism

By Song Su-hyun
  • Published : May 12, 2017 - 18:47
  • Updated : May 14, 2017 - 09:28

South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull agreed Friday to jointly deal with a spread of trade protectionism in the global market, Moon's presidential office said.

The agreement came in a telephone conversation beginning 2:30 p.m. (Seoul time), according to the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in holds a telephone conversation with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull at his presidential office in Seoul on May 12, 2017. (Yonhap)

"The two heads of state discussed the development of the countries' relationship and other issues of their common interest such as the North Korean nuclear issue, and agreed to cooperate in overcoming the spread of trade protectionism," it said in a press release.

Their 20-minute conversation came as Turnbull wished to congratulate Moon on his recent election as Seoul's new leader.

Moon came into office on Wednesday following his landslide victory in a rare presidential by-election the day before.

The new South Korean president noted the countries' bilateral trade has been growing since they implemented their bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) in December 2014, and expressed hope the countries will further expand their trade relations.

Moon and Turnbull have also agreed to enhance their countries'

cooperation on ending North Korea's nuclear ambition, agreeing to hold a two-on-two meeting involving their foreign and defense ministers.

They invited each other to their countries while expressing hopes to meet in person at the upcoming G20 meeting slated to be held in Germany in July. (Yonhap)