South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol and Italian President Sergio Mattarella have affirmed bilateral collaboration in domains including hydrogen, artificial intelligence (AI), and space exploration. The agreement was reached during a summit held on November 8, 2023, in Seoul, an event as the two countries approach the celebration of the 140th anniversary of their diplomatic relations next year.
Both leaders expressed their dedication to advancing cooperation on key global and regional issues. The Indo-Pacific region’s security and that of Europe were highlighted as interconnected, emphasizing the shared responsibility of South Korea and Italy in addressing these concerns.
The focus of enhanced cooperation spans advanced technologies, AI, hydrogen, space exploration and carbon emissions. as outlined in the agreement between Presidents Yoon Suk Yeol and Sergio Mattarella.
During a joint press conference held at the Yongsan presidential office in Seoul following their summit talks, President Yoon expressed that South Korea and Italy share fundamental values of freedom, human rights, and the rule of law. The two nations have consistently cultivated amicable and cooperative relations across diverse fields.
During a three-day state visit by President Mattarella to South Korea, both leaders, President Yoon and President Mattarella, affirmed the interconnected security of the Indo-Pacific region and Europe. The acknowledgment of solidarity prompted a mutual decision to strengthen cooperation between Korea and Italy.
The discussions during the summit extended beyond regional security, encompassing shared efforts on the denuclearization of North Korea and initiatives to enhance human rights conditions in the reclusive state, as reported by the presidential office.
President Yoon emphasized the importance of global solidarity and cooperation, particularly with nations that share values such as freedom, especially in the face of growing global challenges.
South Korea and Italy signed multiple memoranda of understanding (MOUs) for deeper cooperation. Among the agreements is an MOU on industrial cooperation, laying the groundwork for the next generation of collaborative industrial efforts between the two countries.
The Korea Institute for Basic Science and Italy’s National Institute of Nuclear Physics signed an MOU to expand joint research in fundamental sciences to advance knowledge and innovation in the field.
The collaborative spirit extended to the economic domain, with President Yoon highlighting the substantial potential for increased bilateral trade and investment based on the advanced manufacturing capabilities and technologies shared by South Korea and Italy.
“Both Italy and Korea are consistently working towards collaboration, touching upon aspects such as democracy and a free-market economy,” stated Mattarella. “Our need for bilateral cooperation extends beyond economic realms, encompassing various fields that champion these fundamental values, including cultural exchanges. This is the foundation for the strategic partnership that has developed between Italy and Korea.”
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