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Korea, Colombia to bolster post-COVID partnership

Presidents Moon Jae-in and Ivan Duque hold summit talks at Cheong Wa Dae in Seoul on Wednesday. (Yonhap)
Presidents Moon Jae-in and Ivan Duque hold summit talks at Cheong Wa Dae in Seoul on Wednesday. (Yonhap)
President Moon Jae-in and Colombian President Ivan Duque held summit talks in Seoul on Wednesday and agreed to further bolster bilateral ties that mark the 60th aniversary next year. 

Duque and his wife Maria Juliana Ruiz arrived in Seoul on Tuesday for a three-day state visit, becoming the first presidential couple to visit Korea since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. For the Colombian president, it was his first trip outside Latin America amid the pandemic.

The state visit was made upon Moon’s invitation to mark the 10th anniversary of strategic partnership between the two countries and the 70th anniversary of Colombia’s participation in the Korean War.

At the summit talks, the two leaders agreed to further bolster bilateral ties that celebrate the 60th anniversary of official establishment next year, especially in innovation-based high-tech areas.

Moon suggested seeking synergy in Korea’s New Deal and Colombia’s Promise for Future policies, which both aim for economic recovery and structural reform in the post-COVID era.

As part of efforts, the Korean president asked for Duque’s full support of Korean firms joining Colombia’s ongoing digital-based environment-friendly infrastructure projects.

The Colombian president responded positively about the prospect of such collaborations, saying he has always had keen interest in Korea’s science and technology capabilities and its growth through innovation.

Moon also celebrated Colombia’s recent OECD membership, calling it a fresh occasion for the two countries to strengthen cooperation on improving people’s livelihoods and upgrading public policies to better support the drive.

The two leaders also agreed to boost partnership on veterans’ affairs, with Moon pledging more support programs for Colombian war veterans and their family members.

In honor of their service during the Korean War, two Colombian war veterans were also invited to a welcome dinner that followed later in the day.

The leaders also agreed to ramp up efforts to tackle climate change and for more inclusive recovery in the process as the hosts of the most recent and next P4G climate summits. Colombia will host the 2023 summit, following this year’s Seoul summit held in April.

Following the summit, a joint statement was adopted to specify concrete steps to be carried out to achieve the shared goals. Separate agreements were also signed to expand partnership on health and medical care, cultural exchanges, job creation and smart farming.

By Lee Ji-yoon (