On 3 March, EU Ambassador to Korea H.E. Ms Maria CASTILLO-FERNANDEZ met with Minister of National Defense SUH Wook at the main building of the ministry. During the meeting, they shared their opinions on the regional security situation including the Korean Peninsula, and discussed ways to strengthen cooperation between the EU and the ROK.
SUH assessed that the EU and the ROK have been expanding their cooperation on global issues, as well as bilateral cooperation, since the establishment of a strategic partnership in 2010. Suh also said he expects the strategic partnership between the EU and the ROK to be further consolidated by expanding bilateral cooperation in the defense area.
On this note, Ambassador CASTILLO-FERNANDEZ promised to do her best during her term of office to ensure the EU contributes to building peace on the Korean Peninsula, as well as to develop the EU-ROK cooperation in a practical way, because she has a great interest in the Korean Peninsula situation, saying that she is honoured to work again in the ROK for her new role as the Ambassador to the ROK.
CASTILLO-FERNANDEZ also said the ROK government is planning to hold the Seoul Defense Dialogue and United Nations Peacekeeping Ministerial Conference in the second half of this year, in order to continue the trend toward strengthening multilateral cooperation in the international community, and that she looks forward to the EU’s active attention and participation.
Meanwhile, Minister SUH and Ambassador CASTILLO-FERNANDEZ also agreed to cooperate on the Cheonghae Unit’s EU anti-piracy operation, to discuss the holding of the ROK-EU Defense Security Dialogue, and to push for practical ways to cooperate on defense exchanges, including high-level military exchanges between the two sides that had been delayed due to the COVID-19 situation, within this year.