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S. Korea, Britain adopt joint statement on post-Brexit cooperation

South Korea and Britain on Wednesday adopted a joint statement pledging continued close cooperation even after London's expected departure from the European Union (EU) in October, Seoul's foreign ministry said.

In the statement, they committed to cooperation for the denuclearization and establishment of permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula, democratic principles, human rights, promotion of trade liberalization and a fight against weapons of mass destruction.


Seoul and London have been seeking to strengthen communication cooperation amid concerns that Britain's withdrawal from the EU, expected to take place on Oct. 31., could cause disruptions in their trade and other areas of cooperation.

South Korean First Vice Foreign Minister Cho Sei-young held talks with Britain's top envoy in Seoul, Simon Smith, to evaluate the content of the statement and discuss other bilateral issues, the ministry said.

Cho took note of Britain's leading position in the efforts to promote democracy, human rights and free trade, while voicing his expectation that the two countries will make joint efforts to address major international issues.

Smith cast South Korea as a crucial partner for Britain and reaffirmed that even after Britain's divorce from the EU, bilateral cooperation will continue, the ministry here said.

The joint statement also includes the two countries' commitment to supporting global cooperation on sustainable development and strengthening the bilateral partnership in political, economic, social and cultural fields.

It, moreover, reiterates the countries' "longstanding commitment" to maximizing their cooperation on the international stage, including at the United Nations, Group of 20 summit, World Trade Organization and Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

"This joint statement is evaluated as a crucial foundation to promote the strengthening of continued cooperation between the two countries in various areas," the ministry said. (Yonhap)