President Moon Jae-in and first lady Kim Jung-sook were welcomed on Saturday by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his wife Carrie Symonds on a pristine beach in Cornwall, along with other guest nation representatives at this year's G7 summit.
They greeted with an elbow bump and watched a flyover marking the official start of the G7 schedule for President Moon.
During the first expanded session of the summit, President Moon announced that Seoul would offer 100 million US dollars in grants to the COVID-19 Vaccines Advance Market Commitment, also known as COVAX AMC, and another 100 million US dollars in cash or material next year.
He emphasized that a rapid increase in vaccine supply is the most needed short-term solution to ensure the fair accessibility of vaccines.
Moon said that South Korea could be the global vaccine hub with its bio-pharmaceutical production capacity and will seek vaccine partnerships not only with the U.S. but also with other G7 members.
He also shared the country's experience and achievements in COVID-19 countermeasures such as the Northeast Asia Cooperation for Health Security, and the use of digital technologies in the health sector.
President Moon continued his vaccine diplomacy by taking COVID-19 vaccine production and distribution to the center stage in his bilateral summits with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the European Union.
Moon and Merkel agreed to come up with ways to cooperate in securing fair access to vaccines and expanding the production and supply of vaccines while with his European Union counterparts, he asked for their cooperation in ensuring that Europe-made Covid-19 vaccines are delivered without a hitch.
During his talk with EU leaders, the president emphasized that they should expand the production of vaccines by combining South Korea's production capability with the EU's advanced vaccine development.
Moon reiterated that South Korea would faithfully fulfill its role as a global vaccine hub.
To respond to climate change, he also suggested close cooperation in the green economic sector as EU competency in renewable energy and South Korea's competency in hydrogen and electric vehicles, battery, and energy storage equipment could produce a synergy effect.
Hong Yoo, Arirang News.