President Yoon Suk-yeol speaks at a four-way meeting with Australia, Japan and New Zealand on the sideline of the NATO Summit held in Madrid, Spain on Wednesday. (Yonhap)
MADRID -- President Yoon Suk-yeol and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida met again at the four-way meeting with Australia and New Zealand on Wednesday, following surprise talks at a gala dinner a day earlier, sharing ways to cooperate related to the recent international situation and common interests in the Indo-Pacific region.
South Korea and the three other Asia-Pacific nations, Australia, New Zealand and Japan, were invited to the NATO summit as partner countries. They met on the day on the sideline of the summit, aiming to greet each other instead of having a formal meeting with agenda.
Kishida, who made the first speech of the meeting, said that the invasion of Ukraine by Russia is unacceptable for the international community as it violates the rules and international order.
The Japanese leader said that the four nations and the NATO have shared values, and called for discussions on cooperation for realizing the open Indo-Pacific vision. In response, Yoon said it is very meaningful that four countries are gathered in one place with this NATO summit as an opportunity.
“Our four countries have been working together by establishing a NATO partnership to respond to global security threats," he said.
Since Korea became a global partner in 2006, it has jointly responded to the security threats facing the international community with NATO, he said.
“I hope that today's meeting will be a good opportunity to exchange opinions on the role and contribution of our four Asia Pacific countries for peace and prosperity in the Asia Pacific region as well as in the world."
Yoon’s remarks were followed by Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.
After the talks, the presidential office told reporters, "They exchanged opinions on ways of cooperation between NATO and the four Asia-Pacific countries related to the recent international situation and common interests in the Indo-Pacific region.”
By Shin Ji-hye
Korea Herald correspondent (firstname.lastname@example.org