Vietnam and the Republic of Korea (RoK) have reiterated their strong will to conclude a free trade agreement later this year and lift two-way trade to 70 billion USD by 2020.

The pledge, part of the 2013 Vietnam – RoK joint statement, was made by Deputy Foreign Minister Ho Xuan Son and his Korean counterpart Cho Tae-yong at the third Vietnam-RoK Strategic Dialogue on Diplomacy, Security and National Defence at deputy ministerial level in Hanoi on May 29.

The ministers said that both nations are expecting mutually beneficial cooperation on almost fronts, particularly trade, investment, tourism and science-technology.

Vietnam sees the RoK as one of its top economic partners, Son said, assuring Cho that with improving business conditions, they will be able to enjoy strong growth.

Cho said the Korean business community lauds the Vietnamese Government for its timely interference in anti-China riots in Binh Duong and Ha Tinh, saying that he has strong faith in the stable investment climate in the country.

On the national defence and security front, both sides vowed to maintain existing dialogue and policy exchange channels, while working more closely in personnel training, defence industry, experience sharing and undertaking United Nations peacekeeping missions.

They also agreed to liaise better at regional and global forums, such as the United Nations, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, ASEAN+ and the East Asia Summit.

Informed about the recent developments in the East Sea, with China illegal stationing its oil rig Haiyang Shiyou – 981 in Vietnam’s continental shelf and exclusive economic zone, Cho called for the parties concerned to settle the dispute through peaceful means in line with international law, especially the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea.

In regards to the situation in the Korean Peninsula and inter-Korean relations, Son reaffirmed Vietnam’s consistent policy of backing peace, stability and denuclearisation in the region.

Vietnam is willing to contribute to promoting dialogue for peace and trust building between the RoK and the neighbouring Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. The country wishes for both sides to settle disputes through peaceful dialogue, contributing to peace, stability and cooperation in the region, Son said.

On the occasion, Cho also paid courtesy calls to Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh and Deputy Head of the Party Central Committee’s Commission for External Relations, Nguyen Huy Tang.-VNA