Canadian PM Justin Trudeau’s First Official Visit to South Korea

Before heading to Japan for attending the G7 leader’s summit Prime Minister Trudeau landed in Seoul for the summit with President Yoon Suk Yeol to discuss various issues like trade, security cooperation, minerals, etc.

The visit by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to South Korea came in nine years by any Canadian leader. Canada and South Korea are celebrating 60 years of formal diplomatic relations this year which were established back in 1963. Justin Trudeau addressed the National Assembly in South Korea on Wednesday morning, where he emphasized the close and deep cultural ties between both countries.

He also talked about enhancing military engagement with South Korea to alleviate the threats from North Korea. During his speech to National Assembly, he admitted his intent to be ‘best of friends with South Korea. As Kim Jin-pyo South Korea’s National Assembly speaker noted that visit of the Canadian PM comes at a decisive moment in bilateral ties and for the Asian country, which has faced military and nuclear provocation from North Korea.

These two U.S. allies have been continuously working toward finding ways to strengthen cooperation on various fronts. Justin Trudeau said Canada wants to strengthen its partnership with South Korea on high-tech innovation, crucial minerals, and clean energy solutions. Canada remains committed to its objective in the region and also to working with South Korea to tackle the threat from North Korea. Trudeau also said Canada is trying to enhance its naval presence in the region.

Since the establishment of diplomatic relations both the countries have been enjoying normal and stable trade ties. The Free Trade Agreement was signed between South Korea and Canada in 2015, which was a remarkable achievement for both countries. This agreement has helped both countries to enhance bilateral trade and also create new opportunities for investment, innovative partnerships and foster people-to-people exchanges between both countries.

Last year in September, President Yoon Suk Yeol visited Canada, where both leaders agreed to enhance their bilateral ties to a comprehensive strategic partnership.

Justin Trudeau met with President Yoon on Wednesday ahead of the G7 summit which is scheduled for later this week. Both the leader admitted that they will strengthen and deepen their strategic, security, and economic cooperation. Canada agreed to the expansion of its important minerals supply to the South Korean Technology industry in the meeting.

Both leaders discussed the wide-ranging issues from trade, and security to supply chains, clean energy, military cooperation, etc. In a joint statement, both leaders condemned North Korea’s increasing nuclear missile test and ballistic missile program and urged North Korea to reinstate the US-led denuclearization talks of 2019. Both leaders expressed their concern about the human rights violation that is happening in North Korea. Two leaders pledged to raise and improve global awareness about this human rights issue in North Korea.

Both the leader signed a memorandum of understanding on various things like energy transition and energy security and critical mineral supply chain which will help both the countries to become key players in batteries and electric vehicles. Future industries such as Artificial intelligence, semiconductors, modular reactors, and technology-driven cleaner energy are some other areas where both countries will increase cooperation, President Yoon said in a statement.

South Korea and Canada have similar interests on the world stage and both share similar views and opinions on various global issues like climate change, empowerment of women, world peace, etc. Both countries have been continuously supporting peace, security, and prosperity in the Korean peninsula. Canada has been helping in South Korea’s effort to denuclearize the Korean peninsula. There have been significant people-to-people exchanges between both countries throughout the time. These continuous people-to-people exchanges will boost their bilateral relationship.

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