Briefing Room

2023 Feb. 1

Gov't announces launch of Korea-UAE investment cooperation platform

The government will launch an investment cooperation platform jointly with the private sector to implement the investment pledge of USD 30 billion from the United Arab Emirates (UAE). President Yoon Suk Yeol on Jan. 31 held a meeting on follow-up measures for the pledge at the Korea International Trade Association in Seoul. In his introductory speech at the meeting, he said, "Our brother country UAE decided to invest USD 30 billion based on its trust in us," adding, "We should also respond by finding innovative investment partnership projects that serve the interests of both countries." The government decided to fully utilize pan-government capacity to quickly implement follow-up measures so that the UAE's pledges can be expanded into palpable results in exports and investment. The platform comprises a UAE investment cooperation committee chaired by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy and Finance Choo Kyung-ho and UAE investment cooperation network, plus the setup of a permanent cooperation channel with the Arab nation. Led by the private sector, the network has at its center the government-run Korea Development Bank under the purpose of giving customized support tailored to the UAE's investment needs jointly with related financial and industrial sectors. To smoothly promote bilateral investment cooperation, a regular dialogue channel with high- and working-level UAE officials will be opened. Seoul this month will hold a meeting of the investment committee. The private sector will also convene the network this month to initiate detailed talks on overall management plans and strategies for bilateral investment cooperation. Within the first half of the year, a high-level bilateral dialogue on investment cooperation is scheduled, while an investor relations session for UAE sovereign wealth funds in the second half in Abu Dhabi is under consideration.

2023 Feb. 1

President Yoon hosts New Year's luncheon for Diplomatic Corps in Korea

President Yoon Suk Yeol on Jan. 31 invited foreign diplomats stationed in Korea to a New Year's luncheon for the Diplomatic Corps in Korea at Yeongbingwan, the guesthouse at Cheong Wa Dae in Seoul. At the presidential office, Senior Secretary to the President for Public Relations Kim Eun-hye told a briefing, "For the New Year's luncheon for the Diplomatic Corps, President Yoon invited to Yeongbingwan diplomatic envoys and representatives of international organizations based in Korea." In his New Year's address, the president thanked ambassadors and representatives of international organizations in the country for actively working to promote friendly relations with Korea. He also asked for continuous support for and cooperation in the Indo-Pacific strategy, the nation's independent regional diplomatic plan, and policy toward North Korea. This was the first time for the president to host an invitational event for all foreign diplomats in Korea since his inauguration. Attending the luncheon were 170 people including ambassadors from 108 countries, leaders of 15 global organizations, and leading government officials like Prime Minister Han Duck-soo and a deputy speaker of the 21st National Assembly. Tteokguk (soup with thinly sliced rice cake), which is traditionally eaten on New Year's Day, was served at the luncheon.

2023 Jan. 31

President Yoon hosts talks with NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg

President Yoon Suk Yeol on Jan. 30 hosted talks with North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on pending issues in international security. The president spoke to the visiting NATO chief at the presidential office in Seoul on Korea's relations with NATO and strategies for the Indo-Pacific region as well as North Korean issues, Senior Secretary to the President for Public Relations Kim Eun-hye said in a news release. "Korea has rapidly developed its relations with NATO since attending the NATO Summit in June last year," the president said. "We opened a mission to NATO in November last year that is expected to further expand cooperation." He also asked for the secretary general's interest and role so that the Korea-NATO Individually Tailored Partnership Programme, which covers cooperation in new sectors such as cyber and new technologies, climate change and the defense industry, can be successfully concluded. On his strategy for a free, peaceful, and prosperous Indo-Pacific region announced last month, President Yoon said, "This strategy has much in common with NATO as it stresses the rule of law and international norms on solidarity of the values of freedom and human rights." He also mentioned the need for cooperation to promote the process of implementing the strategy. Secretary General Stoltenberg lauded Korea's independent Indo-Pacific strategy and pledged "special efforts" to expand Korea-NATO cooperation in cyber national defense and new technologies. On North Korea, President Yoon urged NATO's active role in discouraging the North's intent to make "reckless" provocations at a time when Pyeongyang continuously advances its nuclear and missile capabilities and raises tension. Turning to Ukraine, Secretary General Stoltenberg thanked Korea for its continued support for the Eastern European country, saying the false message of tolerance of armed aggression should not be imprinted in the international community. President Yoon said, "To help the Ukrainian people, we will cooperate with the international community and do whatever we can." The NATO chief also invited President Yoon to the NATO Summit in Lithuania in July, and the president thanked him for the gesture and said he will consider attending.

2023 Jan. 30

Justice minister proposes opening new immigration agency

"We will devise policy toward entering and leaving the country and immigration as a farsighted national policy." Minister of Justice Han Dong Hoon on Jan. 26 said this at the beginning of his report on the policy to President Yoon Suk Yeol at Yeongbingwan, the guesthouse at the former presidential compound of Cheong Wa Dae in Seoul. With the number of foreign residents of Korea to exceed 2.2 million this year and an estimated 410,000 non-citizens illegally living in the country as of last year, the handling of issues in entering and leaving the country and immigration policy are separated by government departments depending on case. Amid persisting overlapping and separation of immigration policy, Minister Han announced a plan to open the tentatively named Korea Immigration Agency to act as a control tower. "Through this, we will quickly devise a unified policy at the pan-government level and set the foundation for social integration that the people can empathize with," he said. "Furthermore, we will continue to promote policy toward visas and nationality that contribute to economic growth." To flexibly recruit skilled foreign workers, the Ministry of Justice is pushing to adopt a pre-announcement system for the annual volume of work visas and a highly skilled visa track for attracting from abroad talented technical personnel, foreign students in Korea and other outstanding human resources. Another program will recruit science and technology talent from overseas through fast-track programs for obtaining permanent residency and naturalization. For the convenience of foreign tourists who qualify for visa-free entry to Korea, the ministry will offer information on the Korea Electronic Travel Authorization in seven languages, up from two, and reduce the fee.

2023 Jan. 20

President Yoon gives speech at WEF, talks with quantum physicists

President Yoon Suk Yeol on Jan. 19 said in a special address at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, that stronger cooperation and solidarity in the international community is the path toward overcoming challenges and crises that threaten human peace and prosperity. The Office of the President said that on his second day at the WEF, he proposed strengthening the resilience of global supply chains; making the transition to low carbon; raising global cooperation to bridge the gap in health care; and setting up a digital order that contributes to freedom and prosperity. He made these points in his special address at the forum's annual meeting under the theme "Solidarity in Action." "We will align and cooperate with mutually trusted countries in full compliance with the universal rules in order to secure the global supply chain’s stability." he said. "We will contribute to prosperity for all humankind by developing economic and technological ecosystems marked by cooperation and inclusiveness." "As a key means to bolster our energy security while reducing our reliance on fossil fuels, we must turn our attention to nuclear power and clean hydrogen." he added. He also said that the Republic of Korea "is willing to work with nations that need to tap into nuclear power technology to achieve their carbon neutrality goals." The president also said, "In particular, we will secure financing for the prevention of and response to pandemic while nurturing workforce in the biotechnology sector to boost vaccine production capacity. Korea will also take the lead in cooperating with other countries to respond to new infectious diseases in the future." On the world's digital gap, he added, "The Korean government is to create the Digital Bill of Rights in Korea, which can contribute to the establishment of a global digital order," and added that "the Digital Bill of Rights in Korea will define the right to enjoy digital technologies as a universal right of humanity, and propose the basic principles to resolve novel issues that may arise in an era of great digital transformation." "Our modern history has proven to us that an unwavering spirit of solidarity to protect and expand freedom is the most powerful force to overcome a crisis." he said, repeatedly emphasizing "stronger solidarity" and "solidarity in action" with the international community. In the afternoon, the president visited ETH Zürich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology) in Zurich for talks with quantum scientists there. "Interest in the quantum sector is growing by the day, with the winners of last year's Nobel Prize for Physics coming from the ranks of quantum technology researchers," he said. "With huge interest in quantum technology from each country and company, the time for the technology to bloom is approaching. Korea has also designated quantum technology a national strategic technology and is focusing its capacity at the national level." "Korea has the capacity to quickly secure technology while reducing trial and error based on its R&D experience so far. Using this, we will strive to contribute to desirable development of humankind in the future via quantum technology in the international community through solidarity and cooperation with each country in the world." The presidential office said the event's purpose was to discuss trends in quantum technology development with scholars in the field at ETH Zürich, a world-renowned think tank, and seek strategies to help Korea emerge as a world power in the sector, which is expected to become a game changer within the next 10 years. Attending the dialogue were ETH Zürich Rector Günther Dissertori and other quantum experts from the institute including professors Andreas Wallraff and Klaus Ensslin.