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Leaders of S. Korea, Myanmar hold talks on bilateral ties

The leaders of South Korea and Myanmar held bilateral talks on Tuesday and discussed ways to further boost ties in various areas including fisheries and the environment, the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae said.

President Moon Jae-in and State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi met after the closing of a special summit between South Korea and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in the southern port city of Busan. The two-day event was held to mark the 30th anniversary of dialogue relations between the two sides.


In Tuesday's talks, the two leaders agreed to increase exchanges of scientific expertise and technical support for fisheries and aquaculture as part of steps toward sustainable co-prosperity. Myanmar is the world's ninth-largest producer of farmed fish.

They pledged to strengthen environmental cooperation by working to materialize the envisioned establishment of a biodiversity center in Myanmar's capital of Naypyidaw.

The two leaders signed two memoranda of understanding in relation to those plans.

Regarding economic cooperation, they shared the need for each side to take swift follow-up measures for Korea-led development projects under way in the Southeast Asian country, including the construction of an industrial complex in Yangon.

They also agreed to explore ways to facilitate exchanges of vocational programs, such as job training and counseling, based on understanding that investing in human capital is vital to enriching the partnership.

During the talks, Moon recalled that Myanmar provided Korea with rice aid during the 1950-53 Korean War and expressed gratitude for the contribution.

"I am deeply grateful to the counsellor and the people of Myanmar, who have become neighbors that can trust and depend on each other," he said.

"The decision to send us the rice during the Korean War was a noble deed in which one gave the other what was the most important," Moon said.

Also mentioning that it's her first visit to South Korea since becoming Myanmar's leader in 2016, Moon expressed appreciation for her presence here and hoped the occasion will be a chance to upgrade bilateral relations to another level. 

Aung San Suu Kyi, in response, noted that peace overrides all aspects of material benefits, and that her country is ready to contribute to the peace process on the Korean Peninsula in every way it can.

She went on to suggest that the two countries continue working together to elevate their partnership. She is scheduled to attend the inaugural Mekong-Republic of Korea Summit slated for Wednesday. (Yonhap)