South Korea and Australia will bolster coordination on democracy, green energy as well as cooperation against North Korea's nuclear programs.
This was agreed between the two recently elected leaders, South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol and Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, on Tuesday during a sideline one-on-one ahead of the NATO summit.
Starting his first official diplomatic engagement in Spain, the South Korean leader spoke of his hopes for close cooperation with his Asia-Pacific partner.
"Prime Minister Albanese, I would like to congratulate you on your inauguration and your good results in the general election. With the launch of new governments in both countries, I hope for close cooperation to further develop our relations."
Seoul's top office says the two countries will closely work together on democracy, human rights and market economy.
Citing the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Australian Prime Minister reportedly raised concerns over the impact of authoritarianism.
To tackle climate change, South Korea declared hopes for further business cooperation on green hydrogen, an area where Australia excels and the two leaders discussed cooperation on high-tech materials, and the rare mineral supply chain.
On security, Australia reaffirmed its willingness to cooperate for the denuclearization of North Korea and the Korean peninsula peace policy, while vowing to continue strict implementation of economic sanctions on the regime.
Seoul also asked support from Australia for South Korea's bid to host the 2030 World Expo in Busan and the two leaders have agreed to strengthen cooperation with the ASEAN down the road.
And at a gala hosted by the King of Spain, Felipe VI, Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said hello to President Yoon, who was attending the event with the First Lady, and congratulated him on his inauguration and local election results in South Korea.
In response, President Yoon reportedly expressed his wish for positive election results in the upcoming House of Councillors elections in Japan, after which, he said he hoped for talks with Tokyo to resolve pending issues.
Meanwhile, President Yoon's scheduled meeting with NATO Secretary-General has been put off due to lengthy talks with Turkiye over Finland and Sweden's NATO membership request.
Yoon Jung-min, Arirang News.