SEOUL, South Korea and Chile agreed Wednesday to bolster substantive bilateral partnerships in various sectors on the basis of their free trade agreement (FTA).

Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha and Chilean counterpart Roberto Ampuero held talks on the sidelines of a regional meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Hanoi, according to Kang's ministry.

Chile expressed support for South Korea's bid to become an associate membership of the Pacific Alliance trade bloc. It's composed of Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru and accounts for 38 percent of GDP and 50 percent of trade in Latin America.

Chile was South Korea's first FTA partner -- their agreement was signed in 2003.

Kang and Ampuero also reaffirmed plans to strengthen cooperation, especially in infrastructure, ICT, the Antarctic and health care.

With regard to the APEC summit to be held in Chile next year, Ampuero asked South Korea to play a constructive role by making use of its experience and technology.

Kang briefed him on current security conditions on the Korean Peninsula and requested continued support for denuclearization and peace efforts.

Source: Yonhap News Agency