Kazakhstan announces support for inter-Korean summit

ASTANA – Kazakh Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan Kairat Abdrakhmanov expressed support for the upcoming summit between the Republic of Korea and North Korea at an April 17 joint press briefing here with his Korean colleague Kang Kyung-wha.

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Abdrakhmanov said he hopes the April 27 summit provides a breakthrough for the de-nuclearisation of the peninsula.

Kang thanked Kazakhstan for supporting disarmament on the Korean Peninsula, particularly within Kazakhstan’s position on the United Nations Security Council.

“The unique voice of Kazakhstan that voluntarily renounced the nuclear armament must be heard to share its story of success after such a decision,” said the Korean minister.

The two ministers also discussed economic and security cooperation.

“The Republic of Korea is one of Kazakhstan’s key strategic partners in East Asia, and the state visit of President Nursultan Nazarbayev to Seoul in November 2016 opened a new page of our partnership,” said Abdrakhmanov.

Bilateral trade in 2017 increased 2.5 times compared to 2016, amounting to $1.7 billion.

Both sides agreed relations can be developed further and Abdrakhmanov suggested strengthening cooperation in infrastructure and logistics development, given the involvement of Korean companies in building the Great Almaty Ring Road.

Kazakhstan was the first Central Asian nation to establish relations with South Korea in the early 1990s. The relationship was elevated to a strategic partnership in 2009 and, said Kang, was strengthened by Nazarbayev’s 2016 visit.

The sides also agreed to increase cooperation in information and communication technologies and digitisation. The agreements follow significant success in those areas by Korea and the launching of a national digitisation programme in Kazakhstan as well as the challenges regarding Kazakhstan’s efforts to participate in the Fourth Industrial Revolution laid out by President Nazarbayev in a recent state-of-the-nation address.

Economic cooperation details will be discussed during the April 19-20 Kazakh-Korean Business Forum in Seoul with participation by the Kazakh Ministry for Investments and Development along with Kazakh companies.

While in Astana, the Korean minister was received by President Nursultan Nazarbayev on April 17.

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