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The Secretary General of the EU diplomatic service, Helga Schmid has concluded two days of high level consultations in Seoul focusing on strengthening bilateral ties and supporting the diplomatic process on the Korean Peninsula.
The visit by the Secretary General of the EU’s External Action Service came one week after FM Kang’s talks in Brussels with EU High Representative for Foreign affairs and security policy Federica Mogherini and her discussions with EU Foreign Ministers on the planned Inter-Korean Summit.
Speaking on the Korean Peninsula issue Helga Schmid reaffirmed the EU’s policy critical engagement. She said “The EU strongly supports the complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula. All our efforts will continue to be targeted towards achieving this goal.
Our sanctions on the DPRK are currently the most restrictive on any country in the world. We will keep up this pressure, continue to press all UN members to ensure strict implementation of UN Security Council Resolutions and provide technical assistance to countries in support of this.
But pressure is not a goal in itself. And I am visiting Seoul to lend support to the efforts by the Republic of Korea to build a political pathway towards a peaceful, negotiated solution of the North Korean nuclear issue, that provides security for this region and beyond. “
In her meetings with VM Lim she confirmed the excellent state of bilateral relations, and discussed plans for a Summit in the autumn. She pointed to the positive development of bilateral trade and investment based on the FTA between the EU and Korea. In its seven years of application both parties have increased trade volume and created jobs. Further measures will be taken to improve and modernise the agreement .
The meetings also covered regional security issues of common concern.
EU Ambassador to the Republic of Korea, Michael Reiterer, called the visit a further “sign of the maturity and comprehensiveness of the bilateral strategic partnership which celebrates this year its 55th anniversary”.
Secretary General Schmid met a range of interlocutors in Seoul including the First Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lim Sung-nam, the Special Representative for Korean Peninsula Peace and Security Affairs, Lee Do-hoon, the Vice Minister of Unification, Chun Hae-sung, the Secretary to the President for the National Security Strategy, Kwon Seog-hee and the Commander of the UNC/CFC/USF General Vincent Brooks. [see attached pictures]