We, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada and President Yoon Suk Yeol of the Republic of Korea (ROK), have gathered today in Ottawa to celebrate and strengthen a vibrant friendship that is reflected in the depth and diversity of our connections.
On the eve of the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Canada and the Republic of Korea in 2023, we recognize that ours is a special friendship forged together through war, people-to-people ties, a mutual commitment to multilateralism, rules-based international order and global trade, and underpinned by a shared spirit of innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship.
Canada and the Republic of Korea have long been like-minded partners on issues of peace and stability. Canada stood with the Republic of Korea throughout the Korean War, defending not only its people, but also the international order we were building, embodied in the United Nations. Since then, we have worked together to protect and strengthen democracy, security and human rights, including the rights of women and girls, in the region and around the world. We reaffirm our common goal of complete denuclearization of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). President Yoon explained the bold initiative of the Republic of Korea and Prime Minister Trudeau expressed his strong support for President Yoon’s efforts to achieve a denuclearized, peaceful and prosperous Korean Peninsula.
Our peoples have also forged strong ties. Many Canadians and Koreans live, work and study beyond their borders, creating vibrant communities, families and businesses, becoming an essential part of our cultural fabric and strengthening our friendship. Likewise, many of our students have lived or studied at each other’s world-class universities, creating a strong network of friends between Canada and the Republic of Korea.
Our long friendship, underscored by the establishment of the Canadian Embassy in Korea in 1973 and the Korean Embassy in Canada in 1965, was strengthened more recently when we established the Canada-DRC Strategic Partnership and signed by the Canada-DRC Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and the Science, Technology and Innovation (ST&I) Cooperation Agreement. These agreements have played an important role in our enduring friendship, increasing trade and economic prosperity for our two countries and facilitating collaboration between our most innovative researchers, scientists and entrepreneurs.
Now more than ever, Canada and the Republic of Korea – Canadians and Koreans – stand ready to modernize our bilateral relationship and advance, through joint action, the values we share. Today, we are transforming our bilateral relationship into a comprehensive strategic partnership, based on the following five common priorities in the areas of values, security, prosperity, sustainability and beyond.
- Defend the rules-based international system, democracy, freedom, human rights and gender equality
- Strengthening security and defense partnerships, including peacekeeping and maritime security
- Improve economic prosperity and security, cooperate on supply chains, critical minerals and ST&I, and promote trade and investment
- Coping with climate change and the environment, supporting energy security and developing sustainable energy sources
- Deepen partnerships in the areas of health and culture
To begin to implement our comprehensive strategic partnership, we are pleased to jointly welcome the creation of the new annual Canada-ROK Dialogue on Climate Change, the renewal of the Memorandum of Understanding on Defense Materiel Cooperation between the administration of the ROK Defense Acquisition Program (DAPA) and the Department of National Defense (DND) of Canada, and the renewal of the Memorandum of Understanding on Industrial Technology and Innovation Partnership between Korea Institute for Advanced Technology (KIAT) and the National Research Council of Canada (NRC).
Today, we agreed to work towards the launch of a high-level dialogue on economic security involving the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Industry. Reflecting the increasingly important nexus between economic interests and security, we also commit to addressing economic security challenges through enhanced cooperation and coordination. This includes deepening our strategic partnership on supply chain resilience. We will seek to position both countries as globally competitive players in the critical mineral supply chain and battery and EV (electric vehicle) value chains in ways that support our prosperity and security. communities, while raising labor and environmental standards. To this end, we agreed on the need to develop a Memorandum of Understanding over the next few months to enable the construction of value chains in Canada and Korea to support the transition to clean energy and energy security, including with regard to critical minerals. We also agreed on the need to strengthen the Bilateral Joint Committee on Science, Technology and Innovation (ST&I).
We are also committed to strengthening ST&I cooperation in emerging technologies (e.g. artificial intelligence (AI) and next generation network beyond 5G) and exploring future opportunities for bilateral collaboration on AI while seeking to identify mechanisms to stimulate collaborative innovation for the benefit of all. citizens. Further, recognizing the importance of ensuring mutual economic prosperity, we are committed to seeking opportunities to expand bilateral trade and investment to ensure the creation of well-paying jobs in both economies.
We note with satisfaction the contributions made by our Working Holiday Program to the promotion of interpersonal exchanges and we will continue to explore avenues for its renewal. In recognition of the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Canada and the Republic of Korea, we have designated 2024-2025 as the Year of Cultural Exchange between Canada and the Republic of Korea.
During the 60th anniversary of our diplomatic relations next year, and as we strengthen cooperation through our upcoming Indo-Pacific strategies, we look forward to working together on several important initiatives under our shared priorities to put fully implement the Canada-Korea Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.
Expressing his gratitude for Prime Minister Trudeau’s warm welcome and hospitality, President Yoon extended, and the Prime Minister gratefully accepted, a heartfelt invitation to visit the Republic of Korea, an occasion that promises to mark another leap in bilateral relations on the occasion of the 60th anniversary.