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Moon seeks wider cooperation for peace, environment

NEW YORK -- President Moon Jae-in on Monday held a string of meetings with world leaders, seeking closer cooperation with international society on issues ranging from climate change to his administration’s peace drive.

Moon kicked off his day with a summit meeting with Polish President Andrzej Duda.

At the meeting, Moon expressed hopes for wider economic ties between the two nations.

“Trade between the two countries has passed $5 billion, setting a record, and bilateral relations are expanding beyond the manufacturing sector to cutting-edge industries,” Moon said at the meeting.

South Korea-Poland trade volume came to $5.01 billion last year, jumping 34 percent from 2017. 

President Moon Jae-in (left) meets with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres at the United Nations headquarters in New York on Monday. (Yonhap)
President Moon Jae-in (left) meets with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres at the United Nations headquarters in New York on Monday. (Yonhap)

“Recently, bilateral cooperation has expanded to cutting-edge industries such as electric vehicle batteries, and bilateral economic cooperation is becoming diversified to encompass science and technology, and energy,” Moon said, adding that he hopes for increased cooperation in a wider range of fields, including the defense and energy industries, as well as infrastructure.

According to Cheong Wa Dae, Duda expressed his country’s support for the drive to establish peace on the Korean Peninsula and echoed Moon in hoping for stronger economic cooperation with Korea.

Seoul’s presidential office also said the Polish leader invited Moon to his country and Moon responded that that he hoped to make the trip sometime next year.

Meeting UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres later in the day, Moon requested the UN’s continued support for his peace initiative.

Moon highlighted the role the UN has played in engaging North Korea, and requested Guterres’ presence at next year’s Partnering for Green Growth and the Global Goals 2030, or P4G, summit to be held in Seoul.

“Under-Secretary-General Feltman’s visit to North Korea, and the UN’s adoption of the Olympic truce resolution were the first steps that led the PyeongChang Winter Olympics becoming a historical Olympics of peace,” Moon was quoted as saying by Cheong Wa Dae spokesperson Ko Min-jung.

Moon was referring to former UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman’s trip to the North in December 2017.

“Such roles of the UN have been followed by inter-Korean and North Korea-US summits, and now the third North Korea-US summit is in sight. (I) hope for the UN’s role in the peace process to continue.”

According to Ko, Guterres requested South Korea play a leading role in reducing carbon emissions, pointing out that coal continues to account for a large proportion of power generation in South Korea, China and Japan.

The theme of environmental protection was continued at Moon’s meeting with Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen.

At the meeting, Moon and Frederiksen agreed the two countries should seek stronger cooperation in fighting climate change.

“It is clear that cooperation is needed in the area of climate change,” Frederiksen was quoted as saying by Cheong Wa Dae.

“If the two countries cooperate closely, it will be a very good thing not only for the two countries but for the world.”

As for Moon, the South Korean president praised Denmark’s sustainable growth initiative, and requested Denmark’s continued support for the P4G Summit.

The P4G Summit, initiated by Denmark, was first held in Copenhagen last year. The next installment of the event is set to be held in Seoul in 2020.

Moon went on to express hopes for wider Korea-Denmark cooperation in fields such as biotechnology and eco-friendly ships.

By Choi He-suk (
Korea Herald correspondent