SEOUL, South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Indonesian President Joko Widodo on Monday vowed to make efforts to further develop their countries' bilateral relationship and their cooperation in dealing with regional issues.
"I wish to hold in-depth discussions on ways to further develop the countries' special strategic partnership today," Moon told the Indonesian head of state at the start of their bilateral summit at his office Cheong Wa Dae in Seoul.
Widodo arrived in Seoul on Sunday on a three-day state visit that reciprocated Moon's state visit to his country last year. The two leaders last met in Jakarta in November, at which time they agreed to upgrade their countries' bilateral relationship to a "special strategic partnership."
The Indonesian leader called for "actual changes" in their countries' relationship.
"What I wish to see is efforts to further develop and strengthen the relationship between the countries, and I will work to make sure that we will be able to realize actual changes," he told Moon through his interpreter, according to Cheong Wa Dae pool reports.
The Moon-Widodo summit followed an official welcome ceremony held at Changdeok Palace of the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910). The ceremony was immediately followed by a joint walk through the palace by the leaders in a friendly event designed to help strengthen their personal relationship.
After their bilateral summit, the two leaders were joined by other ranking officials from their countries for an expanded summit.
The summit mostly focused on ways to increase the countries' economic cooperation under South Korea's so-called New Southern Policy, which was unveiled during Moon's visit to Indonesia last year.
Under the new foreign policy initiative, Moon seeks to greatly improve his country's diplomatic and economic ties with Southeast Asian countries, such as Indian and all 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), which includes Indonesia.
"The two leaders evaluated the outcome of cooperation between the two countries in the infrastructure sector, including light rail and hydroelectric power generation, and key industrial sectors such as the steel and petrochemical industries," Cheong Wa Dae said in a press release.
"They agreed to expand their cooperation to railways, real estate development and smart transportation systems, while promoting practical cooperation for joint prosperity in the automobile, information-communication and agricultural sectors," it added.
The countries will also work to further expand their trade relations as Seoul seeks to more than double its trade with ASEAN countries to US$200 billion by 2020 under its New Southern Policy.
The two leaders also vowed efforts to increase exchange between the countries' people, agreeing to launch a new "young leaders' dialogue" at Widodo's suggestion.
To this end, the countries signed a new memorandum of understanding on cooperation and information exchange between their immigration offices, a move that could help simplify the immigration process for Indonesian visitors to South Korea, Cheong Wa Dae said.
Moon asked for Indonesia's continued support for his country's efforts to rid North Korea of its nuclear weapons.
With Widodo's visit, Indonesia has become the first ASEAN nation to have exchanged visits of leaders with South Korea since Moon took office in May 2017, according to Cheong Wa Dae.
The leaders will meet again later in the day when Moon hosts a state dinner for the Indonesian first couple.
Source: Yonhap News Agency