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2012/03/29 12:50 KST
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S. Korea, Hungary agree to expand trade, enhance nuclear energy cooperation

SEOUL, March 29 (Yonhap) -- South Korean President Lee Myung-bak and Hungarian President Pal Schmitt agreed Thursday to work together to expand bilateral trade and enhance substantial cooperation in nuclear power, science and technology, the presidential office said.

   The two leaders also shared concerns over North Korea's rocket launch plan and agreed that Pyongyang should scrap the launch because it is a clear violation of the U.N. Security Council resolution banning Pyongyang from any ballistic missile activity, the office said in a statement.

   The summit came as Schmitt has been in Seoul for the Nuclear Security Summit that ended two days of meetings on Tuesday. Hungary established diplomatic relations with South Korea in 1989, becoming the first East European nation to do so with Seoul.

   Lee and Schmitt agreed to try to expand trade between the two countries and help South Korean firms invest more in Hungary. In particular, they also agreed to strengthen substantial cooperation in nuclear energy, science and technology, the statement said.

   Lee expressed gratitude to Schmitt, an International Olympic Committee member, for backing South Korea's bid to bring the 2018 Winter Olympics to PyeongChang. The alpine city won the bid after beating Germany's Munich and France's Annecy in an IOC vote in July last year.

   It was PyeongChang's third bid for the Games after narrow defeats in two previous attempts.

   Schmitt praised South Korea for contributing to international peace and security with its hosting of the nuclear summit. The conference was the biggest diplomatic event Seoul has ever hosted, drawing leaders and high-level representatives from 53 countries and four major organizations.