Vietnam and the Republic of Korea (RoK) on September 9 issued a joint statement during RoK President Park Geun Hye’s state visit to Vietnam from September 7-11.

Following is a VNA translation of the full text of the joint statement:

“At the invitation of the President of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam Truong Tan Sang, President of the Republic of Korea Park Geun-Hye paid a state visit to Vietnam from September 7-11.

During her stay, President Park held talks with President Sang, met with Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and National Assembly Chairman Nguyen Sinh Hung.

President Sang and President Park exchanged views on issues of mutual concern, including the Vietnam-RoK bilateral ties, the situation on the Korean peninsula and regional and international matters.

The two sides agreed to promote the development of their strategic cooperation partnership for common prosperity and the well-being of the two peoples.

1. Revision Bilateral Relations

The two sides expressed their pleasure at the gigantic development of the bilateral relations in the fields of politics, economics, society, culture and people-to-people exchange since the establishment of their diplomatic ties in 1992.

They agreed to further promote the Vietnam-RoK strategic cooperation partnership which was set up in 2009, making it more practical and continue to collaborate closely in the issues not only within the bilateral framework but also faced by international community.

2. Practical Development of Strategic Cooperation Partnership

2.1 Strengthening Political-Security Cooperation

2.1.1 The two sides agreed to strive to hold regular high-ranking talks in the forms of bilateral visits or meetings on the occasion of multilateral conferences; further promote the exchange of personnel between the Parties, Governments and legislature bodies of the two countries.

2.1.2 They held that the strategic diplomacy-security-defence dialogue held in Hanoi in March 2011 and Seoul in August 2013 contributed to increasing the strategic mutual understanding and trust between the two countries, and agreed to continue organising the dialogue mechanism regularly.

2.1.3. The two sides believed that the first defence policy dialogue held in Hanoi in March 2012 was a good chance for them to exchange views on regional security and defence cooperation exchanges; and agreed to deepen exchanges in defence cooperation between the two countries through the second defence policy dialogue slated for November 2013 in Seoul.

2.1.4. Both sides reached consensus to continue strengthening the cooperation on the training of defence and defence industry staff and peacekeeping experience sharing, thus contributing to maintaining peace and stability in the region and the world.

2.2. Expansion of Economic-Trade Cooperation

2.2.1. The two sides expressed their pleasure at the fulfillment of the target to raise bilateral trade to 20 billion USD in 2012, three years earlier than the goal set in 2009.

They agreed to head to a two-way trade of 70 billion USD by 2020 through continuing expanding bilateral trade ties on the basis of mutual interest.

The RoK side shared the view on the necessity to foster the export of Vietnamese goods to the RoK.

The two sides agreed to positively seek and implement practical measures to expand bilateral trade more equally.

2.2.2. Both sides agreed on the need to accelerate negotiations for the signing of the Vietnam-RoK Free Trade Agreement (VKFTA) at a high and comprehensive level in 2014 while considering the development differences between the two countries.

2.2.3. The Vietnamese side highly appreciated the investment by businesses from the RoK, one of Vietnam’s major investors, who contribute to promoting Vietnam’s industrialisation and export growth, and affirmed to make every effort to improve the investment and business environment and create conditions for RoK businesses to expand their business in Vietnam

Vietnam welcomed RoK firms to increase investment in the building of infrastructure, high-technology, support and manufacturing industries, and expressed hope that these investment activities will contribute to the common development of both nations.

The two sides agreed to promote the sharing of public-private partnership expertise and support enterprises of both sides to take part in civil investment projects.

2.2.4. The two sides spoke highly of the outcomes of their financial cooperation over the past time, including the active participation of RoK financial companies, and welcomed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on the establishment of a representative office of the RoK Financial Supervisory Commission in Vietnam, hoping that the office will play an important role in strengthening financial cooperation between the two countries in the future.

2.2.5. Both sides highly appreciated their close cooperation in labour and employment over the past time and agreed to speed up joint projects on building policy, supporting infrastructure development and improving management capacity in labour-employment.

They held that the Employment Permit System deployed in 2004 has contributed to economic development of each country and agreed to make efforts to resume the programme which expired in 2012.

2.2.6. The two sides highly valued the cooperation between relevant agencies of the two countries in using nuclear power for peaceful purposes, welcomed the start of a pre-feasibility study for a nuclear power plant in Vietnam in June this year following the Overall Joint Proposed Plan (OJPP) for nuclear power development cooperation in Vietnam which was agreed upon in 2011.

The two sides held that the sharing of RoK experience and nuclear power development technology will contribute to developing Vietnam’s nuclear industry.

They both agreed to continue cooperation in order to develop nuclear power in Vietnam.

2.2.7. The two sides took note of the busy cooperation between the two countries in technical industries such as researching and developing the support industry, training technical human resources in manufacturing and building technological incubators.

They shared the view that these activities have contributed to promoting the two countries’ common development.

2.2.8. Both sides welcomed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade and the RoK Ministry of Industry, Trade and Energy on distribution and logistics, saying they believed the MOU will intensify cooperation between the two countries in supporting businesses and experience sharing in the field.

2.2.9. The two sides agreed to cooperate and support RoK businesses to take part in energy infrastructure projects, including the Dung Quat oil storage and a thermal power plant in the south of Vietnam.

The two sides also welcomed the signing of an MOU on accelerating the implementation of the BOT Nghi Son 2 thermal power plant between the Thanh Hoa provincial People’s Committee and the RoK Electric Power Corp.
2.2.10. Both sides were unanimous to intensify cooperation in the production and distribution of food and agro-fisheries products, food safety and quarantine. They agreed to speed up the signing of an MOU on comprehensive agricultural cooperation between the Vietnamese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the RoK’s Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.

2.2.11. The countries agreed to further their cooperation in space data. The RoK pledged to support Vietnam to build and expand a comprehensive management system over land information nationwide.

2.2.12. To minimise economic, social and environmental damage caused by impacts of the climate change, they agreed to consider accelerating a project to prevent the desertification in Vietnam’s central region and joint afforestation projects.

2.3. Development cooperation

2.3.1. Vietnam and the RoK shared their view that the development cooperation contributes to the growth of their relations, and agreed to foster their cooperation to advance the development efficiency and expand the development cooperation between the two countries.

They reached an agreement to exert every effort to realise the Vietnam Partnership Document for the execution of the Busan Partnership Document for Effective Development Cooperation.

2.3.2. Both Vietnam and the RoK attached the importance of science and technology development to Vietnam’s sustainable growth. They welcomed the signing of an agreement to establish the Vietnam – Korea Institute of Science and Technology (V-KIST), funded by the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), and agreed to work closely to make it a successful model of development cooperation between the two countries.

2.3.3. They reached consensus on stepping up the “Vietnam Happiness Programme”, which comprehensively develops underdeveloped areas in line with the RoK’s New Villages Movement, contributing to the Vietnam’s development into a modern industrialised country by 2020.

2.3.4. Both sides spoke highly of their past cooperation in developing transport infrastructure in Vietnam and were unanimous in bolstering their ties in this field in the coming time, especially through the public-private partnership (PPP) model.

They applauded the signing of an MOU on cooperation in constructing Belt Road No.3 in Ho Chi Minh City, the first PPP project financed by the RoK’s Economic Development Cooperation Fund (EDCF). They also agreed to facilitate the RoK’s businesses’ participation in this project.

2.4. Cultural and social cooperation

2.4.1. Vietnam and the RoK underlined the importance of boosting the understanding and closeness between the two peoples. They will continue strengthening their multifaceted cooperation in such fields as language teaching, culture, arts, and sports, while intensifying their ties in people-to-people diplomacy. The two countries also agreed to increase the exchange of their young generations.

2.4.2. They reached an agreement in continuing their attention to protecting and ensuring legitimate rights of each country’s citizens residing in the other side, providing necessary assistance to Vietnamese and Korean multicultural families, turning them into a bridge linking both peoples.

The two sides pledged to do their utmost to soon finish the negotiations on a mutual legal assistance agreement in civil affairs and trade. The RoK will consider measures to create favourable conditions for Vietnamese citizens to enter the country.

3. Expansion of cooperation in region and at international forums

3.1. The RoK voiced concern over the nuclear tests conducted by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea ( DPRK ) and made it clear that the RoK does not accept the DPRK’s possession of nuclear under any circumstance. Regarding this issue, the two sides agreed that the development of nuclear weapons is a threat to peace and stability of the Korea Peninsula, the East Asian region and the world at large. Both sides called on the DPRK to implement all its obligations and international commitments including the United Nations (UN) Security Council resolutions and the Joint Statement of the Fourth Round of the Six - Party Talks held in Beijing on September 19, 2005, and become a responsible member of the international community. The Vietnamese side applauded the policy known as the Trust - Building Process on the Korean Peninsula by President Park Geun - hye that aims to establish sustainable peace on the peninsula and back the Northeast Asian Peace and Cooperation Initiative to further step up cooperation and establish trust in the Asia region.

3.2. The two sides agreed to work closely at regional and international forums such as ASEAN+3, ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), the East Asia Summit (EAS), the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) and the UN.

3.3. Both sides took note of the development of ASEAN-RoK ties over the recent past, and held that the upgrade of the ties in 2010 helped further boost their effective cooperation. Vietnam and RoK agreed to coordinate closely to organise the 2014 ASEAN-RoK Special Summit hosted by the RoK to mark the 25th anniversary of the dialogue relations between ASEAN and the RoK.

3.4. The two sides held that it is vital to foster the Mekong-RoK cooperation towards the establishment of an ASEAN community. They expressed their hope that the 2nd Mekong-RoK Business Forum scheduled for 2014 in Vietnam will help further strengthen civil cooperation between the two regions. Both sides also agreed to continue cooperation to establish the ASEAN community, which helps narrow the development gap between them and enhance their linkage.

3.5. Vietnam and the RoK stressed the importance of maintaining peace, stability, maritime security and safety at sea, and held that all disputes at sea must be settled by peaceful measures and in line with international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

The two sides asserted that President Park’s Vietnam visit plays a crucial role in taking their friendship cooperation to a new phase of development. President Park expressed deep gratitude to the Vietnamese side’s hospitability and invited President Sang to visit the RoK at a convenient time. President Sang accepted the invitation with pleasure.”-VNA