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S. Korean leader vows to improve ties with Indonesia, Asian countries

2017/11/08 23:14

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JAKARTA, Nov. 8 (Yonhap) -- South Korean President Moon Jae-in said Wednesday that his country will greatly improve its relations with Indonesia and other Southeast Asian nations, calling them important partners in the country's endeavor to expand its global leadership.

The remarks were made in a meeting with a group of some 400 South Korean residents in Jakarta, Indonesia. Moon arrived here earlier in the day on a state visit that will include a bilateral summit with Indonesian President Joko Widodo.

"I have always stressed the need to expand our country's foreign relations. That is because we can only take advantage of our nation's geopolitical position as a bridge nation when we look beyond the four super powers in the region," Moon said, highlighting the fact that Indonesia was the first country to which he made a state visit.

The four major powers refer to China, Japan, Russia and the United States.

President Moon Jae-in holds a special meeting with South Korean residents and expatriates in Jakarta, Indonesia on Nov. 8, 2017, after arriving here on a three-day state visit earlier in the day. (Yonhap) President Moon Jae-in holds a special meeting with South Korean residents and expatriates in Jakarta, Indonesia on Nov. 8, 2017, after arriving here on a three-day state visit earlier in the day. (Yonhap)

"We will further speed up. We will upgrade and develop our exchange and cooperation with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, including Indonesia, to the level of our relationships with the four major countries," the South Korean leader added.

Moon said the countries shared many similarities in their recent history, noting they both experienced colonial rule, as well as dictatorships.

Now, they are closer than ever, he said.

"Along with hallyu (Korean wave), they said the country with the friendliest sentiment toward South Korea is right here, Indonesia," the president said.

Apparently highlighting the widespread popularity of South Korean pop culture in the Southeast Asian country, the South Korean leader was accompanied by well-known K-pop girl group AOA.

The members of popular K-pop girl group AOA hold a special performance before the start of a meeting between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and South Korean residents in Jakarta, Indonesia on Nov. 8, 2017. The South Korean leader arrived here earlier in the day on a three-day state visit that will include a bilateral summit with Indonesian President Joko Widodo. (Yonhap) The members of popular K-pop girl group AOA hold a special performance before the start of a meeting between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and South Korean residents in Jakarta, Indonesia on Nov. 8, 2017. The South Korean leader arrived here earlier in the day on a three-day state visit that will include a bilateral summit with Indonesian President Joko Widodo. (Yonhap)

"The number of areas and size of practical cooperation between the two countries have also increased," he said, noting nearly 3,000 South Korean companies currently had business operations in Indonesia.

The South Korean leader also vowed additional support for South Korean residents and businesses here.

"We will expand our tailored support for the South Korean community centered around (Korean) businesses here. We will enhance our support for the expansion of our companies and their business opportunities here by further enhancing the economic cooperation between the two countries," he said.

"We will also greatly expand our consular services for our fellow countrymen here."

   bdk@yna.co.kr

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