President Moon Jae-in (L) holds hands with Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang after their joint press conference at the presidential palace in Hanoi on March 23 (Source:Yonhap)

Seoul (VNA)
– The State visit to Vietnam by President Moon Jae-in of the Republic of Korea (RoK) from March 22-24 was highlighted in an article ran by the Korea Times – the RoK’s leading daily newspaper published in English.

With the title “Korea, Vietnam to upgrade relations”, the article stressed that after a summit between Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang and President Moon Jae-in on March 23 in Hanoi, the two sides agreed to upgrade their bilateral strategic cooperative partnership into a more comprehensive one and held that Vietnam and the RoK are key partners of each other in trade, investment, diplomacy and people-to-people exchange.

According to the article, President Moon said Vietnam is the centre of the RoK’s New Southern Policy, which aims to diversify the RoK’s economic partnerships beyond the US and China by increasing trade with Southeast Asian nations.

It also quoted President Quang as saying that Vietnam actively supported and welcomed the RoK government's efforts to resolve the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK)’s nuclear issue peacefully and promote inter-Korean talks.

For economic cooperation, the article said the leaders agreed to expand two-way trade to 100 billion USD by 2020 from the current 63.9 billion USD, adding that the two countries signed six memoranda of understanding (MOUs) on trade and economic cooperation.

It also cited the joint declaration announced after the summit which said that "the two leaders agreed the development of the two nations' relations has created reciprocal benefits and contributed to peace, stability and prosperity of the region and the world".

The article stressed President Moon expressed regret over the "unfortunate history between the two countries," referring to RoK troops' participation in the Vietnam War, adding that this is the first open expression of regret over the issue has been publicised.

Meanwhile, an official from the RoK President Palace quoted President Quang as saying that the Vietnamese State leader highly recognised the RoK government's sincerity over the painful history of the Vietnam War, the article said.

In another article, the Korea Times spotlights the participation of President Tran Dai Quang and his RoK counterpart Moon Jae-in in the RoK-Vietnam Business Forum.

It noted that this is the first time a Vietnamese president had taken part in an economy-related event held alongside a RoK president's visit, indicating the Vietnamese government's high interest in bilateral economic relations.

In his speech at the forum, President Moon said the goal to lift the two-way trade to 100 billion USD by 2020 cannot be attained by only one side expanding exports, adding that this can be attained only when the two nations have reciprocal trade and companies of the countries advance into third nations by making use of each other's strong points.-VNA