Briefing Room

2022 Nov. 17

President Yoon, Saudi prince discuss energy, defense industry, infrastructure

President Yoon Suk Yeol on Nov. 17 held talks with visiting Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is also his nation's prime minister, on the development of bilateral cooperation. The president held individual and extended talks with and later hosted an official luncheon for the crown prince, whose visit marked the 60th anniversary of bilateral relations, the Office of the President said. At their summit starting at 11:40 a.m., President Yoon said, "Saudi Arabia is Korea's largest trading partner in the Middle East and a partner in overseas construction, as well as a core partner in our economic and energy security," adding, "Saudi Arabia is opening a new future through its 'Vision 2030' led by Crown Prince Mohammed, so now is the right time to raise bilateral ties to a new level." "I hope that both countries can further expand and develop cooperation in investment collaboration in new growth sectors, participation in mega projects such as Neom city, cooperation in the defense industry, development of future energy sources like hydrogen, and boosting cultural exchanges and tourism." Neom is the world's largest project for smart city construction announced by the crown prince in 2017 for Saudi Arabia as a long-term national program to reform the country's oil-dependent economic structure. The cost is an estimated USD 500 billion (KRW 686 trillion). Crown Prince bin Salman said, "Since diplomatic ties were formed, Korean companies have greatly contributed to developing the national infrastructure of Saudi Arabia," adding, "I hope to bolster our cooperation with Korea to realize the Saudi Vision 2030 based on the mutual trust built in this process." He said he especially hoped to "drastically bolster" bilateral cooperation in the three sectors of energy, the defense industry, and infrastructure and construction. Through this summit, both sides agreed to further develop bilateral ties into a "future-oriented strategic partnership" and set up a "strategic partnership committee" to this end. With the Korea-Saudi Arabia Vision 2030 Committee at the center, the two leaders also agreed to strengthen cooperation so that both sides can produce substantial results in energy, investment and cooperation in the defense industry, as well as cultural and human exchanges and tourism. Making his last visit to Korea in June 2019, the crown prince arrived at 12:30 a.m. at Seoul Air Base in Seongnam, Gyeonggi-do Province, and will fly to Japan after his two-day trip.

2022 Nov. 16

President Yoon returns home after 1st summit with China in Bali

President Yoon Suk Yeol on Nov. 16 returned home after completing his Southeast Asian tour to attend summits of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Group of 20 (G20) economies. He and first lady Kim Keon Hee at 6:50 a.m. arrived at Seoul Air Base in Seongnam, Gyeonggi-do Province, on the presidential plane Code One. Earlier on Nov. 15, President Yoon held his first summit talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping since taking office in May this year. In their 25-minute meeting from 5:11 p.m. (KST 6:11 p.m.) to 5:36 p.m., both leaders discussed issues of common interest such as development of bilateral relations, issues on the Korean Peninsula, and the situations of the region and world. The two sides praised the incredible growth of bilateral exchange and cooperation since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1992. They also agreed to advance ties in a more mature fashion based on mutual respect, reciprocity and common interest to mark the 30th anniversary of relations this year. President Yoon said, "The diplomatic goal of the Korean government is to pursue the freedom, peace and prosperity of the international community based on common values and norms," adding, "As China's role is crucial in improving freedom, peace and prosperity in East Asia and the international community, both countries should closely communicate and work together." President Yoon also told his Chinese counterpart that North Korea has recently committed provocations at an unprecedented frequency and escalated nuclear and missile threats, saying, "As a permanent and charter member of the United Nations Security Council and our neighboring nation, we expect China to play a more active and constructive role." Expressing sympathy on the activation of high-level bilateral dialogue, President Xi proposed a 1.5-track dialogue system between Seoul and Beijing and emphasized expanding two-way communication and building political trust. "I hope that Korea and China share a common interest in Korean Peninsula issues and defend peace, and for Seoul to actively improve inter-Korean relations," he added. On Seoul's "audacious initiative" of economic assistance to Pyeongyang in return for the latter's denuclearization, the Chinese leader said, "If North Korea responds favorably, we will provide our active support and cooperation so that this bold plan is implemented well." Unable to make a trip to Korea so far because of COVID-19, President Xi said that if the coronavirus situation is stabilized, he would happily accept President Yoon's invitation to visit Korea. The Chinese leader added that he hopes President Yoon can visit China at a time convenient for both sides.

2022 Nov. 15

President Yoon to hold 1st summit with Chinese leader Xi in Bali

President Yoon Suk Yeol, on a visit to Bali, Indonesia, to attend the Group of 20 (G20) summit, on Nov. 15 will hold a bilateral summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping at 5 p.m. local time. Deputy presidential spokesperson Lee Jae-myoung in Seoul told a morning news briefing the schedule of the upcoming meeting. President Xi is also in Bali for the G20 summit and both leaders will hold their first talks since President Yoon took office in May this year. This will also be the first summit between the two sides in nearly three years. On Dec. 23, 2019, then President Moon Jae-in and President Xi at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing held talks on the sidelines of a trilateral summit among Korea, China and Japan. Earlier on Nov. 14, President Yoon emphasized the importance of changing government's roles to overcome the complex global crisis and digital transformation at the B20 Summit, which was attended by representatives from economic organizations and business leaders of G20 states. "We must find the solution to the complex crisis of the global economy on the private sector-led supply side, and the key to supply innovation lies with digital transformation," he said. "Unlike the 2008 global financial crisis and the 2020 pandemic crisis, the crisis we face is mostly because of the supply side instead of demand factors," he added. "We must also search for the crisis response solution on the supply side and change the role of government." "Given global circumstances, the key to private sector-driven supply innovation lies with digital transformation." Turning to his administration's policy, he said, "The Korean government as a core task is promoting a 'digital platform government' led by the private sector to greatly boost the quality of public services and forming a new environment creating new value by combining public data and private services." On the same day, President Yoon chatted with Indonesian President Joko Widodo at the Korea-Indonesia Business Roundtable at Bali Nusa Dua Convention Center in Bali. In a light conversation, President Yoon said, "Both countries must bolster supply chain links given their complementary industrial structures." "As part of this, Korea is an optimal partner for Indonesia thanks to its cutting-edge manufacturing technologies in sectors like semiconductors, batteries and cars and Indonesia is pushing its vision 'Making Indonesia 4.0' to develop its manufacturing sector based on its abundant natural resources." President Yoon also told his Indonesian counterpart that he hopes for close bilateralcooperation by taking advantage of each other's strengths in clean energy sectors such as nuclear, renewable and hydrogen as well as in digital economy . The two sides also signed six government-level memorandums of understanding (MOU) on tasks like holding high-level bilateral dialogue on investment. In the corporate sector, they signed four MOUs including one on cooperation in smart city development.

2022 Nov. 14

President holds bilateral, trilateral talks with US, Japan in Cambodia

President Yoon Suk Yeol on Nov. 13 held bilateral summits with U.S. President Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and trilateral talks with both in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. On a tour of Southeast Asia, President Yoon in the meetings discussed North Korea's nuclear program, economy, national security, and cooperation in regional and global affairs. The three leaders held a 15-minute summit and adopted their first joint statement on comprehensive affairs such as economy and national security in addition to North Korea. The trilateral summit was the first of its kind in five months since the one on the sidelines of the summit of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. This was also the first time in six years and eight months that a Korean head of state held a bilateral summit each with the leaders of the U.S. and Japan and three-way talks with both on the same day since President Park Geun-hye did so in March 2016. "The current developments on the Korean Peninsula and in the region and beyond require the strongest level of our trilateral coordination," President Yoon said. "The three countries must show solidarity to show North Korea that such reckless provocations can never succeed." President Biden reaffirmed the "ironclad" U.S. commitment to defending Korea and Japan and extended deterrence against the North. Japanese Prime Minister Kishida said, "So, it is extremely, truly timely that the Japan-U.S.-ROK trilateral summit is being held at such a juncture." The joint statement said the three countries will share real-time information about North Korean missiles and strengthen cooperation in economic and national security cooperation through cutting-edge technology, supply chains and energy. Presidents Yoon and Biden at their bilateral summit discussed issues of mutual interest including boosting the extended deterrence. On the Inflation Reduction Act of the U.S., President Biden said Korean corporations in sectors like automobiles and electric batteries greatly contribute to the U.S. economy and thus the act's implementation will be discussed given these factors. On the same day, President Yoon and Japanese Prime Minister Kishida in a 45-minute summit agreed that given more active dialogue between diplomats of the two countries on bilateral ties, both sides should continue cooperating to reach swift solutions. They also welcomed the rapid recovery of bilateral interpersonal exchanges and expressed hope for expansion of human exchanges between the two countries. Completing his visit to Cambodia, President Yoon flew to Bali, Indonesia, on Nov. 14 to attend the Group of 20 (G20) summit. Through Nov. 15, he will attend the B20 summit with representatives from economic organizations and business leaders from G20 member states, business roundtable with Indonesia and the G20 summit.

2022 Nov. 10

President Yoon to attend ASEAN, G20 summits in Southeast Asia

President Yoon Suk Yeol from Nov. 11-16 will make his first trip to Southeast Asia since taking office to attend summits of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Group of 20 (G20) economies. He will visit Phnom Penh, Cambodia, and Bali, Indonesia in that order. National Security Office Director Kim Sung-han on Nov. 9 announced the itinerary of the chief executive's trip in a media briefing at the Office of the President in Seoul's Yongsan-gu District. President Yoon from Nov. 11 will attend a bilateral summit with ASEAN to announce the Korean version of an Indo-Pacific strategy based on freedom, peace and prosperity and his administration's new "vision of solidarity initiative" with ASEAN. Speaking to reporters on his way to the office on Nov. 10, he said he "will announce the principles of Korea's Indo-Pacific strategy (at the ASEAN summit) based on freedom, peace and prosperity and unveil the 'ASEAN National Solidarity Initiative.'" On Nov. 12, the president will attend the ASEAN Plus Three Summit. Korea will chair its trilateral talks with China and Japan and serve as coordinator to represent the three non-ASEAN countries at the summit. President Yoon will also explain his plan for practical cooperation between ASEAN and the three Northeast Asian countries. On Nov. 13 President Yoon will attend the East Asia Summit. "The East Asia Summit is a strategic forum where heads of state discuss key security issues in and out of the region," Director Kim said. "President Yoon will explain Korea's basic stance on regional and international issues and emphasize Seoul's willingness to actively contribute to freedom, peace and prosperity." On the same day, President Yoon will hold a trilateral summit with U.S. President Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on North Korea's nuclear program. Reuters quoted the White House as saying this meeting will take place during the ASEAN summit in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. President Yoon will later fly to Bali, Indonesia, for the G20 summit. On Nov. 14, he will meet Korean entrepreneurs active in Indonesia, take part in the B20 summit with economic organizations and business leaders from G20 member countries, and attend a bilateral business roundtable with India. On the opening day of the G20 summit on Nov. 15, President Yoon will deliver a speech at a session on food, energy, national security and health and fly home that evening. After returning to Seoul, he will hold a bilateral summit with the Netherlands on Nov. 17 and one with Spain on Nov. 18.