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S. Korea, Singapore agree to boost ties on smart cities, arms development

South Korea and Singapore reached a summit deal Saturday to strengthen partnerships in various fields, including smart cities and arms development, on the basis of their traditional cooperation.

President Moon Jae-in greeted Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at Cheong Wa Dae here, who made his first official visit here in six years.

With the summit, Moon kicked off a hectic round of his summit diplomacy on Southeast Asian nations, the highlight of which is the ASEAN-Republic of Korea Commemorative Summit to open on Monday in the southern port city of Busan. 

Moon and Lee "had broad and in-depth discussions on ways for cooperation to promote co-prosperity and friendliness and establish peace on the Korean Peninsula and in the region," Cheong Wa Dae said.

Singapore is an "exemplary partner" for South Korea's New Southern Policy, it added.

Lee was quoted as telling Moon that the two sides are "optimal" partners to lead the fourth industrial revolution era together.  

They agreed that South Korea and Singapore have great potential for cooperation in the smart city sector, as they have related experience and technology.

"I look forward to detailed cooperation plans for the sectors including smart cities, small and medium-sized businesses, startups as well as the bio and medical sectors, and hope that the two countries' cooperation leads to strengthened competence of the overall ASEAN," Moon said.

The leaders also agreed to make joint efforts to put an updated pact on avoiding double taxation into effect at an early date.

"I hope the pact to be ratified as soon as possible as we are pushing for it to take effect," Lee said. "We are also making updates to our framework for cooperation, one of which is the free trade agreement between South Korea and Singapore."

They expressed hope for the deepening of people-to-people exchanges from a bilateral Air Services Agreement to become effective next week.

"Both leaders agreed to bolster cooperation to prepare for future defense demand," upbeat about bilateral partnerships on developing military technology, Cheong Wa Dae said.


President Moon Jae-in shakes hands with Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at Cheong Wa Dae on Saturday, ahead of the upcoming ASEAN summit to be held in Busan next week. (Yonhap)
President Moon Jae-in shakes hands with Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at Cheong Wa Dae on Saturday, ahead of the upcoming ASEAN summit to be held in Busan next week. (Yonhap)


On the occasion of Lee's trip to Seoul, South Korea and Singapore signed a memorandum of understanding on cybersecurity as well.

Meanwhile, Moon asked the city-state to keep playing a "constructive role" for the complete denuclearization of Korea and lasting peace, noting it hosted the first North Korea-US summit in June last year.

Moon and Lee plan to attend the two-day Busan group summit to be joined by the leaders of nine other ASEAN member states.

They had the previous one-on-one summit in Singapore in July 2018 during Moon's state visit there.

Moon and Lee plan to attend the two-day Busan group summit also involving the leaders of nine other ASEAN member states. It is designed to celebrate the 30th anniversary of forging dialogue relations.

They had the previous one-on-one summit in Singapore in July 2018 during Moon's state visit there.

On Sunday, Moon plans to meet in Seoul with Brunei's Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, who is to pay a state visit, and then head to Busan, his hometown.

He's scheduled to attend the groundbreaking ceremony for the Busan Eco Delta Smart City in the afternoon.

On Monday, Moon will hold a series of bilateral summits with Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, Indonesian President Joko Widodo, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen and Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte ahead of an official welcoming dinner.

The next day, Moon is to meet bilaterally with Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi and Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith on the sidelines of the group summit with two sub-sessions.

Meanwhile, the inaugural Mekong-Republic of Korea Summit is slated to take place in Busan on Nov. 27 involving five nations: Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam. Republic of Korea is South Korea's official name.

Moon invited North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to the Busan event, but he refused to join it.

(Yonhap)

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