Vietnam and South Korea issued a joint statement to upgrade their bilateral relations to a comprehensive strategic partnership, as part of Vietnamese State President Nguyen Xuan Phuc's ongoing visit to the East Asian country.
With strong belief in the future of cooperation, President Phuc and his South Korean counterpart Yoon Suk Yeol announced the joint statement after their talks on Monday, opening a new stage of development for the relationship between the two countries.
The elevation of bilateral ties, from the strategic partnership that has developed effectively since 2009, was announced one day after Phuc arrived in South Korea for a three-day official visit at the invitation of President Yoon.
In the joint statement, the two countries agreed to strengthen political and diplomatic cooperation as well as defense and security.
The two sides agreed to further promote visits and exchanges between the two countries' senior leaders, while expanding and developing the dialogue and cooperation mechanism between the parties, including the strategic dialogue on diplomacy, security, and defense at deputy ministerial level.
They agreed to strengthen cooperation in technology, defense, education and training, and maritime security.
The two countries will take steps to expand and deepen economic, trade, investment, and development cooperation by promoting stable and balanced growth of bilateral trade, maintaining their positions as each other’s leading trading partners, the joint statement said.
Vietnam wants South Korean businesses to make new investments and expand their existing ones in the fields of electronics, renewable energy, specialized complexes and green industrial parks, and smart cities, while supporting Vietnamese businesses to participate more deeply in the global supply chain.
Both countries agreed to continue strengthening cooperation in the spheres of express railways, light railways, and subways.
Vietnam wishes South Korea to further expand its refundable and non-refundable aid to the Southeast Asian country.
The two nations pledged to expand development cooperation in agriculture and rural development, oil and gas exploration and exploitation, power plant construction, and energy saving.
South Korea asked Vietnam for further support on the power projects being developed by South Korean investors in Vietnam to ensure their smooth development, the joint statement said, adding that Vietnam agreed to actively consider this issue.
The two sides promised to foster cooperation in climate change response, digital transformation, information technology, digital platforms, and information safety and security.
They also agreed to boost efforts to cooperate in the fields of culture, education, labor, health, tourism, infrastructure, urban development, and cultural exchanges.
In their talks earlier, the two presidents agreed to work closely to respond to global challenges and non-traditional security issues and closely coordinate in international and regional forums as well as mechanisms in which the two sides participate, the joint statement said.
South Korea emphasized that Vietnam is one of the most important partners in the implementation of South Korea’s Indo-Pacific strategy and the ASEAN-Korea Solidarity Initiative.
The host affirmed South Korea’s support for Vietnam to organize the Partnering for Green Growth and Global Goals Summit in 2025 and asked the guest to support South Korea to conduct the Busan World Expo in 2030.
The two leaders reaffirmed the importance of maintaining peace, stability, safety, and freedom of navigation and overflight in the East Vietnam Sea, while emphasizing the principle of peaceful settlement of disputes on the basis of international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
They asked relevant parties to exercise restraint and not to take unilateral actions to militarize, change the status quo or complicate the situation in the East Vietnam Sea.
Both presidents stressed the need of effective and full implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Vietnam Sea (DOC), as well as the importance of early reaching an effective and substantive Code of Conduct for the East Vietnam Sea (COC) in accordance with international law, especially UNCLOS.
Along with the announcement of the joint statement, the two leaders also witnessed the signing of nine cooperation documents between the ministries of the two sides in the fields of diplomacy, energy, essential mineral extraction, information technology, healthcare, and customs.
As part of his visit, President Phuc had talks with South Korean Prime Minister Han Duck Soo, focusing on steps to boost bilateral relations between the two nations.
In addition, he received many representatives of major groups and businesses of the host country, and met with the Vietnamese community in South Korea.
The visit marks Phuc’s first to South Korea as a state president and also the first by a Vietnamese head of state to this nation in 11 years, according to the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.