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State Visit to the United Kingdom by the President of the Republic of Korea
Joint Communique on the 2 December meeting between President Roh Moo-hyun and Prime Minister Tony Blair
President Roh Moo-hyun of the Republic of Korea and Prime Minister Tony Blair of the United Kingdom held summit talks in London on 2 December on the occasion of the Korean President's State Visit to the UK at the invitation of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II from 1-3 December 2004.
The first ever State Visit to the UK by a Korean President epitomises the strength and maturity of relations between the two countries, established 120 years ago. The relationship of today reflects the wide-ranging common values held by the United Kingdom and the Republic of Korea. Recent years have seen the rapid development of close and enduring cooperation in political, economic, cultural and other spheres. The two leaders affirmed their resolve to work closely together to maintain and develop this warm and forward-looking partnership.
Trade and investment in both directions is blossoming. Visible trade between the two countries totalled $6.8 billion in 2003, and is estimated to reach $9 billion in 2004. Hundreds of companies, British and Korean, are investing across a wide spectrum of commercial activity, providing a firm foundation for future growth. Developments in economic cooperation and integration in North East Asia offer more opportunity for collaboration between the business sectors. The two leaders welcomed the President's 2 December Round Table meeting with CEOs and SEOs of leading British companies as a valuable opportunity to recognize the open and business-friendly economic climate in South Korea. The meeting should help to further expand the scope of trade and investment links between the two countries.
The President and the Prime Minister welcomed the growing maturity of the partnership in the area of high technology and science, and the strategic cooperation between businesses in this arena. They supported the convening of the Fifth UK-Korea High Technology Industry Forum in London on 2 December; and the Seventh UK-Korea Joint Commission on Science and Technology in London on 1 December.
The President and the Prime Minister also welcomed the signing, on 1 December, of several joint ventures in the science and technology field: a Science, Technology and Innovation Partnership between the two countries to promote collaborative links in these areas; and Memoranda of Understandings between the Korean Electronics & Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI) and the University of Cambridge, for research cooperation; the Korea Science Foundation, the Royal Institution of Great Britain and the British Council Korea, to promote the popularisation of science; and the Korea Advanced Institute of Science & Technology (KAIST) and the University of Cambridge, to promote entrepreneurial thinking among students in the high technology sphere.
The two leaders expressed great appreciation of the ongoing work of parliamentarians, business leaders, academics and others engaged in the UK-Korea Forum for the Future. They welcomed the growing numbers of British and Korean people visiting each other's country, and the cultural exchange this brought. They agreed to work together to help develop the activities of cultural centres and similar organisations.
Common values also underpin the two countries' outlook on many international issues. The two leaders stressed the need for peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula. They remain committed to a swift peaceful resolution of the North Korean nuclear issue through dialogue in the Six-Party Talks, and agreed to work together for the early resumption of the Talks.
The UK and the Republic of Korea share a commitment to democracy, and the two leaders looked forward to successful elections in Iraq in January next year. They agreed to continue to work together to accelerate reconstruction and promote peace and stability in Iraq.
The two leaders agreed also on the necessity of close cooperation, both internationally and bilaterally, in the fight against terrorism and to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. They agreed to the mutual sharing, in London and Seoul, of information on counter-terrorism issues.
The President and the Prime Minister recognised that climate change represents a profound environmental challenge. The President confirmed the intention of the Republic of Korea to take part in the Energy and Environment Ministerial Round Table in London in March 2005. They agreed that both countries should work together in developing understanding of the effects of climate change, and the means to combat it. With this in mind, they agreed to build on existing scientific cooperation on renewable energy technology.
The two leaders exchanged views on the reform agenda pursued by their respective governments for efficient and transparent governance for the benefit of the people. The Prime Minister confirmed the intention of the UK government to attend the Global Forum of Reinventing Government to be held in Seoul in May 2005.