By Lee Kyoung Mi
President Yoon Suk Yeol and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on May 17 in their summit adopted a joint statement on heightening and further developing the bilateral “comprehensive strategic partnership” on the occasion of their 60th year of diplomatic ties.
The two leaders pledged cooperation in sectors like economic security and supply chains and expansion of youth exchange.
In a joint news conference at the presidential office in Seoul, President Yoon said, “We agreed to build a partnership ‘stronger together for the next 60 years’ for a more peaceful, more democratic, and more just and prosperous world in the future.”
Prime Minister Trudeau said the “bilateral friendship” is a “special relationship” over the past 60 years that will remain so for decades to come.
Both leaders agreed to raise joint efforts a notch to set an international order based on norms and protect liberal democracy.
“Korea and Canada strongly condemned North Korea’s continued nuclear and missile development that threatens regional peace and stability,” President Yoon said. “Both governments and the private sector will expand cooperation to improve the human rights situation in North Korea.”
In economic cooperation, the two leaders agreed to launch regular “2+2” high-level talks on economic security between foreign and economy ministers to discuss key issues such as supply chain stability and cooperation in clean energy. They also signed a memorandum of understanding on supply chains for core minerals for stronger cooperation in such minerals and energy.
The two leaders agreed to greatly expand exchanges between future generations. Both sides will increase the annual number of working holiday students who can live, work and study in the other country from 4,000 to 12,000, in addition to easing requirements on age and work hours.
President Yoon that evening hosted a dinner for his Canadian counterpart at Yeongbingwan, the official guesthouse of Cheong Wa Dae.
“President Yoon gave a toast saying ‘Stronger together,’ meaning that both countries should raise cooperation going toward the future,” presidential spokesperson Lee Do Woon said in a news release, adding, “Prime Minister Trudeau proposed a toast to leadership of principle, continuous stability of democracy and a prosperous future.”
Held in a friendly and lively atmosphere, the dinner concluded with a pansori (traditional lyrical opera) performance to wish for a “beautiful” bilateral friendship and eternal harmony, the spokesperson added.