Yoon meets with inauguration delegates from Britain, Uzbekistan, Japan

SEOUL-- Incoming President Yoon Suk-yeol on Monday held meetings with foreign delegates visiting South Korea to attend his inauguration the following day as he discussed cooperation with their respected countries.

Yoon met separately with British Minister of State for Asia and the Middle East Amanda Milling; Sodiq Safoyev, first deputy chairperson of Uzbekistan's Senate; and former Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama.

The meetings came a day before Yoon's inauguration as South Korea's new president.

During a meeting with Hatoyama, Yoon stressed the need for South Korea and Japan to improve relations.

"There are lots of fruitful results that South Korea and Japan, who are close neighbors that also share democratic values and a market economy, can achieve through the improvement of the relationship," Yoon said.

Hatoyama, who served as prime minister in 2009 and 2010, responded that both countries should work hard to build a "future-oriented bilateral relationship" and that he will also make a contribution to achieve that goal.

In a meeting with Milling, Yoon expressed his hope of South Korea and Britain expanding cooperation in the future industry.

"Britain sent the second largest number of troops, behind the U.S., in the Korean War and fought with us to defend liberal democracy," Yoon said. "With this historic bond, I plan to expand our cooperation in future industrial fields, such as climate change, supply chain, digitalization, health and energy."

Milling said there is vast room for bilateral cooperation in future industries and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is also expecting a close cooperation with Yoon.

Yoon also asked for Britain to play a leading role as a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council amid heightened tensions over North Korea's repeated weapons tests.

"We will open the dialogue door with North Korea, but we will take a stern response against its provocations," Yoon said.

In talks with Safoyev, Yoon called for expanding cooperation in economic security.

"Not only in future growth sectors, like health, climate change and electric vehicles, I hope we can also enlarge cooperation in economic security areas, such as the expansion of the supply chain," he said.

Yoon also asked for Uzbekistan's support for South Korea's bid to host the 2030 World Expo in the country's southern port city of Busan as well as in North Korea issues.

Meanwhile, other high-level guests attending Yoon's inauguration ceremony will include U.S. second gentleman Douglas Emhoff, Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan and Singaporean President Halimah Yacob.

Source: Yonhap News Agency