The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Alfonso Dastis, met on Wednesday, 1 March in Madrid with his counterpart from the Republic of Korea (South Korea), Yun Byung-se.
Minister Dastis agreed with the Korean minister in describing the state of bilateral relations as excellent. The extension of political relations between the two countries, with a fluid exchange of visits by public officials at different levels, corresponds to the good progress of bilateral cooperation at an economic, technological and cultural level and between their respective civil societies.
In relation to economic exchanges, the development of trade relations between the two countries has followed a very positive path in recent years, with a significant increase in trade flows in both directions and the consolidation of the Republic of Korea as our third-largest customer in the Asia-Pacific region, undoubtedly boosted by the conclusion of the EU-Korea free trade agreement in 2011. The figure for bilateral trade exceeded 4 billion euros in 2016, the year in which a substantial increase was also posted in the number of Korean tourists to Spain.
The two foreign affairs ministers also reviewed issues on the regional and global agenda. In particular, they tackled the political and security developments on the Korean Peninsula, including the challenge posed by North Korea to the nuclear and ballistic non-proliferation regime. Minister Dastis conveyed Spain’s support and solidarity to his counterpart, and condemned the recent ballistic tests carried out by North Korea. They also tackled other political and security challenges in Europe and the Asia-Pacific. Furthermore, they gave over part of their time to the positive collaboration between the two countries as members of the United Nations system.
-NON OFFICIAL TRANSLATION-