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Polish FM talks 'strategic partnership' with South Korea in Seoul

14.03.2023 13:30
Poland’s foreign minister has met with South Korea’s top diplomat, unification minister and the head of the country’s national security bureau to discuss “the strategic Polish-South Korean partnership" on security and defence. 
Polands Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau (left) and South Koreas Park Jin (right) meet in Seoul on Tuesday, March 14, 2023.
Poland's Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau (left) and South Korea's Park Jin (right) meet in Seoul on Tuesday, March 14, 2023.Twitter/Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Zbigniew Rau, who is making a three-day visit to South Korea, held the meetings in the capital Seoul on Tuesday, public broadcaster Polish Radio’s IAR news agency reported. 

Poland’s top diplomat was hosted by South Korea’s Unification Minister Kwon Young-se before holding talks with the National Security Bureau chief, Kim Sung-han, and Foreign Minister Park Jin, according to officials. 

South Korea is 'our comprehensive economic partner'

Afterwards, Rau told reporters: “Poland and South Korea constitute a tight team made up of two countries that are situated far away from each other, but understand each other well and therefore are close.”

He added: “Our political relations are very good, our economic relations are apparently even better. That’s because South Korea is our comprehensive economic partner, with whom we are cooperating in the field of security, in the arms industry and regarding energy issues.”   

The Polish foreign minister noted there was “big potential” for bilateral cooperation in the construction of nuclear power plants, as well as “in the construction and development” of Poland’s planned new mega airport and transport network, the Solidarity Transport Hub.

“It’s an extensive range of economic cooperation,” he added. 

Impact of Ukraine war

Rau said that South Korea’s unification minister had outlined his country’s relations with North Korea, as Seoul marks 70 years since the end--“albeit without a peace treaty”--of the Korean War. 

“It’s still a highly important aspect of security policy on the Korean Peninsula,” Poland’s top diplomat added.

Rau went on to say: “We discussed the impact of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine on North Korea’s policy towards South Korea and Japan.”

He noted there was “a universal belief” that, with the attention of the international community focused on Ukraine, Pyongyang was busy “extending its ballistic and probably also nuclear programmes.” 

The Polish foreign minister said this led to “fully understandable concerns in South Korea” and “rising tensions on the Korean Peninsula,” proving that “a disruption of the political order in one part of the globe stokes fears elsewhere.”   

Defence, security, infrastructure

Rau noted that his country was buying much of its military equipment from South Korea, which he said “creates huge opportunities" for the South Korean arms industry.

He also said that Poland was being seen as “an attractive investment destination” and “a future defence industry hub.”

While in Seoul on Tuesday, Rau visited the Museum of the Korean War.

Rau's meeting with his South Korean counterpart, Park Jin, focused on bilateral cooperation in areas including infrastructure and security, according to officials.

On Wednesday, Rau is scheduled to visit the demilitarised zone between the two Koreas.

He said it would be “a very important and emotional event,” as the zone symbolised “the trauma of a divided country, just like Europe was divided" until 1989. 

“This division influences South Korea’s policy and the vision for the development of both countries of the Korean Peninsula in the future,” Rau told reporters in Seoul.

Later on Wednesday, Rau will travel to Vietnam, Polish state news agency PAP reported.

Tuesday is day 384 of Russia’s war on Ukraine. 


Source: IAR, PAP, polskieradio.pl