Brussels, 20 September, 2002
The EU - Republic of Korea (RoK) Summit will take place on 24th September in Copenhagen. It is the first summit meeting since the entry into force of the EU-RoK Framework Agreement for Trade and Cooperation in April last year. Discussions will mainly cover the current state of EU-RoK relations and the latest developments on the Korean Peninsula and the security situation in the region. RoK will brief the EU on the resumption of inter-Korean contacts this summer and the EU will brief the ROK on the EU policy towards the DPRK. Both sides will assess the outcome of the recent visit by Japanese PM Koizumi to Pyongyang.
External Relations Commissioner Chris Patten underlines the importance of Korea, saying:
...'The Republic of Korea is a key player in Asia and an important partner for us with whom we have developed strong political and economic ties. Thanks to President Kim Dae Jung's efforts, Korea's economy has been revitalised and is now one of the best performing in the region. President Kim's sunshine policy of peace and reconciliation towards the North is also bearing fruits and we will continue to support South Korea's efforts for constructive engagement with the DPRK.'
The Danish Prime Minister, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, in his role as the President of the European Council, and the President of the European Commission. Romano Prodi will represent the European Union. The Danish Minister for Foreign Affairs, Per Stig M
ller, the European Commissioner for External Relations, Christopher Patten, and the European Commissioner for Trade, Pascal Lamy, will also participate.
Korean participants will be led by President Kim Dae Jung, who will be accompanied by a delegation of Ministers, senior advisers and officials, including the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Choi Sung-Hong, and the Minister of Trade Hwang Doo-Yun.
The state of EU-RoK bilateral relations is good and it has been strengthened since the entering into force of the Trade and Co-operation Agreement last year in both the political and economic fields.
We have developed strong political contacts as well as in depth economic and trade exchanges. The EU is Korea's biggest investor and third largest trading partner.
There are however, some outstanding bilateral issues, for which we hope some progress can be achieved soon. Shipbuilding is currently the most urgent such issue.
The EU continues to support Korea's efforts towards peace and reconciliation on the Korean Peninsula and to engage constructively the DPRK.
We particularly welcome the resumption of inter-Korean contacts and recent talks between Japan and the DPRK, important steps towards enhancing peace and stability in North East Asia. We will continue to provide the DPRK with humanitarian assistance (worth
274 M since 1995), to start with two technical assistance pilot projects in the fields of energy and training on market economy (
1 M each) and to contribute to the KEDO project (
108 M to date).
For more information, please consult the website on EU - Republic of Korea relations:
Statement by President Prodi regarding the Mission of Japanese PM Koizumi to Pyongyang