The top diplomats of South Korea and New Zealand agreed Tuesday to enhance bilateral ties in the economy, defense and other various fields, Seoul's foreign ministry said.
Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha (R) shakes hands with her New Zealand counterpart, Winston Peters, ahead of their meeting in Seoul on Oct. 29, 2019. (Yonhap)
Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha and her counterpart, Winston Peters, held talks in Seoul and agreed to strengthen cooperation in trade, investment, infrastructure, as well as in areas of mutual interest, such as hydrogen energy development and research in the Antarctic, the ministry said in a release.
They also decided to further advance cooperation in the defense sector, based on a bilateral agreement on military supplies signed in May.
In particular, they evaluated that the construction of a New Zealand naval vessel, named Aotearoa, by a South Korean shipyard is a display of close defense cooperation and agreed to further promote such ties through a bilateral pact on military supplies signed in May.
The christening ceremony of Aotearoa was held in the southeastern port city of Ulsan late last week, attended by senior government officials from both countries. The tanker is expected to be delivered to the New Zealand navy in 2020.
In the talks, Peters also said that New Zealand will provide its automated immigration screening, known as the e-gate system, to South Koreans, in line with an agreement reached between the leaders of the two sides when President Moon Jae-in paid a visit to his country last December.
Kang explained to Peters the situation on the Korean Peninsula and North Korea, thanking New Zealand for firm support for Seoul's peace process. In response, Peters expressed his willingness to actively contribute to the peninsula issues.
The two sides also agreed to promote youth business exchanges, including expanding the working holiday system and language training programs in rural areas, according to the ministry.