The Korea Herald


Korea, Germany to bolster ties to press NK

By 조정은

Published : Oct. 12, 2015 - 19:08

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Leaders of South Korea and Germany on Monday agreed to bolster their bilateral alliance to curb North Korea‘s nuclear ambitions and improve human rights conditions in the reclusive regime.

"We have shared the urgency and the importance of denuclearizing North Korea and agreed to urge North Korea to abandon its (development) of nuclear (weapons) and to come forward as a responsible member of international society,” said President Park Geun-hye in a joint press conference after a summit with her German counterpart in Seoul.

The two also agreed to seek ways to ensure peaceful unification of the two Koreas and reinforce bilateral ties in automotive information technology and smart manufacturing. She also expressed her hopes to raise the interest of the global community in the unification of the two Koreas, referring to the German experience in ending decades of division.

”If we look back to the German way of achieving unification, there was a process of building trust through exchanges and cooperation. We could see that such process was necessary, as well as cooperation and support by the international society,“ she said.

Introducing Germany’s past efforts in easing tension through the pursuit of detente policies, President Joachim Gauck indicated the need to keep the dialogue channel with North Korea.

“(The policies) were a part of processes to urge (East Germany) to open its doors and to keep dialogue channels open. And we led dialogues by keeping this cooperative relationship,” he said in German.

“I believe this suggests something for the Korean Peninsula and for the regional security in Northeast Asia.”

Earlier in the day, the two also agreed to upgrade the level of bilateral cooperation for the technical development of key industries, such as by converging Korea’s state-of-the-art IT technology with Germany’s strength in automobile and equipment engineering. The German president arrived in Seoul on Sunday for a four-day visit and for a summit with Park. Gauck was visiting Korea for the first time at the invitation of Park following her visit to Germany in March last year.

Upon the summit, the Korea Electronics Technology Institute signed a memorandum of understanding with German carmaker BMW to promote exchanges on automotive IT technology, the presidential office said. Under the agreement, the two sides would start exchanging technologies to apply solar energy and information technology in automobiles.

The leaders also acknowledged the ongoing efforts by the two countries to achieve industrial innovation by applying IT to traditional manufacturing systems. They agreed to work together to set up universal standards to certify operational and hardware systems for smart manufacturing.

Both countries share goals of achieving technological and systematic transition from traditional manufacturing structure, said Cheong Wa Dae. The agreement will allow the two sides to strengthen strategic alliance on integrating Korea’s information communications technology with Germany’s advancement in mechanical control system, it added.

Park and Gauck also agreed to make joint efforts to expand bilateral trade and investment.

Trading volume between South Korea and Germany reached $28.9 billion last year, a 36.9 percent increase from 2009. Korea’s trade deficit with Germany, however, surged 2.9 times in the same period.

The agreement on trade and investment was reached to solve the growing trade imbalance with Germany, the presidential office said.

By Cho Chung-un (