Kazakh FM visits South Korea on 10th anniversary of strategic relations 

NUR-SULTAN – Kazakh Foreign Minister Beibut Atamkulov discussed bilateral relations, international issues and the situation on the Korean Peninsula with South Korean Prime Minister Lee Nak-yeon and other top officials and business leaders in Seoul on Sept. 16. 

South Korean delegation led by South Korean Prime Minister Lee Nak-yeon (L) and Kazakh delegation led by Kazakh Foreign Minister Beibut Atamkulov (R) discussing bilateral relations in Seoul Sept. 16. Photo credit: mfa.kz.

“The Republic of Korea is one of the key strategic partners in Asia, and our political interaction corresponds to this status,” said Atamkulov during his meeting with the South Korean Prime Minister. He also noted Kazakhstan’s desire to expand relations.

Lee Nak-yeon also praised the liberalisation of Kazakhstan’s economy, which began under Kazakhstan’s First President, Nursultan Nazarbayev.

This year is the 10th anniversary of strategic partnership between the two countries. The two countries also agreed in April during the visit to Kazakhstan by South Korean President Moon Jae-in to cooperate on the Fresh Wind programme. The programme is now managed by a bilateral working group. 

L-R: Kazakh Foreign Minister Beibut Atamkulov and South Korean Prime Minister Lee Nak-yeon. Photo credit: mfa.kz.

The two countries also work within the Central Asia-South Korea forum, which will meet again in October in Nur-Sultan.

Atamkulov also met during his visit with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. The former UN Secretary-General praised Kazakhstan and Nazarbayev for renouncing the large nuclear arsenal inherited from the Soviet Union and Kazakhstan’s ongoing efforts to achieve a nuclear-weapons-free world. 

Atamkulov also met with and thanked Speaker of the South Korean National Assembly, a unicameral parliament of South Korea, Moon Hee-sang, for supporting the fourth meeting of the speakers of parliaments of Eurasian countries in the Kazakh capital.

Atamkulov also met with South Korean business leaders, including those from Kolon, Samsung Electronics, Doosan Heavy Industry, Hyosung Corporation Group and Hyundai Heavy Industries.

Korea is Kazakhstan’s second largest trading partner in Asia. Trade in 2018 reached $4 billion and reached nearly $2.7 billion in the first half 2019. Between 2005-2019, Korea invested more than $5.3 billion into Kazakhstan’s economy.

The Kazakh foreign minister also met during his trip with South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha and Minister of Commerce, Industry and Energy Sung Yun-mo, reported the press-service of Kazakhstan’s Foreign Ministry.