SEOUL, May 17 — South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Wednesday agreed to expand bilateral cooperation to secure vital mineral supply chains and for each country’s youth to visit the two countries. And agreed to enhance opportunities to work. ,
The agreements were reached during a summit held earlier in the day after Trudeau arrived in Seoul on an official visit to mark the 60th anniversary of the establishment of bilateral diplomatic relations.
“We adopted a joint declaration and assessed the achievements of our cooperation so far, agreeing to build a stronger partnership for a more peaceful, democratic, just and prosperous world over the next 60 years,” Yoon said during a joint press conference. Did.” , in the President’s Office.
The joint statement, titled “Stronger Together in the Next 60 Years”, said that during their last summit in Ottawa in September, Yun and Trudeau had agreed to upgrade bilateral ties to a comprehensive strategic partnership.
On the sidelines of the summit, the two governments signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on cooperation in critical mineral supply chains, clean energy transition and energy security.
The MoU will promote cooperation between South Korea and Canada to strengthen and secure clean energy and critical mineral supply chains, the statement said.
He also said that in return, this would support the development of clean technologies that would drive green and sustainable economic growth and establish South Korea and Canada as internationally competitive players in areas such as batteries and zero-emission vehicles. .
The two leaders also agreed to reform the work-leave program, increasing the annual quota of young South Koreans and Canadians who can work and travel in each country from 4,000 to 12,000 people.
Under the agreement, the maximum age for eligible youth was increased from 30 to 35, while the maximum number of working hours was increased from 25 to 40 hours per week.
South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol (right) poses for a photo with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau before talks at the presidential office in Seoul on May 17, 2023.
Trudeau reaffirmed Canada’s support for the goals of the Yoon administration’s Bold Initiative, which provides massive economic aid in exchange for North Korea’s steps toward denuclearization.
The support includes increasing Canada’s naval presence and participating in multinational operations in the region, such as joint efforts to monitor compliance with sanctions imposed against North Korea by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), according to the announcement.
Both leaders condemned the North’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs and called on Pyongyang to resume denuclearization talks.
He expressed his commitment to promoting human rights in North Korea, saying that both countries are “deeply concerned” about the widespread human rights violations in the North and the regime’s “total disregard” for the welfare of its people.
Turning to Ukraine, Yoon and Trudeau condemned Russia’s invasion “in the strongest possible terms” and reiterated their unwavering support for Ukraine and the Ukrainian people.
The leaders noted recent agreements between their defense ministries to enhance bilateral defense cooperation, including the recently signed MoU on Defense Materials and Research and Development (R&D) Cooperation.
The agreements will facilitate exchange of technical know-how, material loans and joint test and evaluation activities between the two countries.
Yoon and Trudeau also welcomed the recent decision of their governments to begin negotiations for an agreement on defense and industrial information security.
According to the statement, such an agreement will help deepen bilateral security cooperation and enhance information exchange and defense cooperation.
Other topics covered during the summit included climate change, with Trudeau welcoming Yun’s agreement to participate in the “Global Carbon Pricing Challenge” carbon tax plan launched in 2021. South Korea is the first Asian country to join the initiative, which urges all countries to adopt pollution pricing as a central part of their climate strategies.
The leaders welcomed the results of the opening session of the high-level economic security dialogue between the two countries’ high-level economic security dialogue held on Tuesday between their respective foreign and industry ministers, and also announced the launch of a policy dialogue involving high-ranking officials from the ministries Will be foreign affairs of both the countries.
Yun and Trudeau are expected to attend an official dinner later in the day.
This is the third summit between Yoon and Trudeau after the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) summit in Spain in June and in Ottawa in September.
Trudeau is the first Canadian leader to visit South Korea in nine years.
South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol (right) looks on as Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau signs the guest book ahead of their talks at the presidential office in Seoul on May 17, 2023.