Seoul, May 17 – Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Wednesday that his country is ready to forge closer partnerships with South Korea in critical minerals, clean energy and other areas.
Addressing the South Korean parliament, Trudeau also said Canada would seek security cooperation to reduce regional security threats and work with Seoul on North Korea’s denuclearization.
“Canada stands ready to strengthen its partnership with friends like (South) Korea on everything from critical minerals to high-tech innovation to clean energy solutions,” Trudeau said.
Trudeau said these issues would be at the center of his summit with President Yoon Suk Yeol later in the day.
Trudeau’s visit to Seoul is the first by a Canadian leader in nine years, marking the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
This is the first time a foreign leader has addressed the National Assembly since US President Donald Trump’s speech in 2017.
Trudeau said stability in the Indo-Pacific and the North Pacific is essential to global security and urged North Korea to return to dialogue and diplomacy.
“Canada remains committed to increasing not only our trade, but also our military engagement as a means of reducing threats to regional security,” he said.
Trudeau also expressed Canada’s commitment to increased cooperation with South Korea to address the human rights situation in North Korea.
Trudeau’s speech received thunderous applause from South Korean lawmakers and Canadian officials.
Referring to a Korean word used to celebrate a person’s 60th birthday, he said, “In the spirit of ‘Hungab’, let us renew our shared commitment and begin a new cycle of peace, prosperity and stability.” ”
Before his speech, Trudeau met with National Assembly Speaker Kim Jin-pyo, which was also attended by leaders of rival parties.
Following the summit with President Yun, a joint press conference and official dinner will be held. Trudeau is scheduled to leave for the G-7 summit in Hiroshima, Japan on Thursday.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau delivers a speech at the National Assembly on May 17, 2023 in Seoul.