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S. Korea, EU agree to step up cooperation in COVID-19 response, pending bilateral issues Updated: 2020-07-01 06:04:59 KST

South Korea and the European Union expressed a strong commitment to overcoming the COVID-19 pandemic and pledged to work together to prepare for a post-virus era.
In Tuesday's virtual summit, President Moon Jae-in met with Charles Michel, President of the European Council, and Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission his first bilateral of the year.

COVID-19 has caused the world to realize the importance of the climate and the environment and to feel the fast-approaching digital age. Stepping up cooperation on climate change and the digital economy sector is the most important thing in preparing for a future together. We hope the EU also becomes an important partner for South Korea's 'Green New Deal' initiative.

With this year marking the 10th anniversary since the establishment of a strategic partnership, the leaders sought further areas of cooperation, including trade, digital, green energy and climate change.
The two sides added they were committed to further enhancing the implementation of their free trade deal, agreeing to seek ways to reduce non-tariff barriers to trade and to facilitate administrative procedures.

The EU leaders also praised South Korea's proactive and innovative steps to tackle the COVID-19 outbreak with President Moon promising to share the country's experience with the global community.
The two sides affirmed the need to cooperate in the development of vaccines and treatment and to extend a helping hand to developing countries.
To that end, they agreed to step up cooperation between South Korea's Ministry of Food and Drug Safety and the European Medicines Agency.

In regards to Korean Peninsula issues, the EU expressed support for South Korea's efforts to engage with North Korea to achieve regional peace and prosperity.
President Moon asked for continued efforts and a constructive role on the EU's part.

A face-to-face summit was initially scheduled for the first half of this year in Seoul but, due to the pandemic, the video conference was set up instead.

"This is where Tuesday's bilateral summit was held. The top office expects to use this format in future virtual summits, and take the lead in preparing for a post-virus era. Kim Min-ji, Arirang News."
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