Presidents Moon Jae-in and Borut Pahor of Slovenia held a luncheon summit at Cheong Wa Dae for an hour and a half from noon today. The Slovenian President is making an official visit to Korea on the occasion of the PyeongChang Winter Olympics. The two Presidents discussed Korea-Slovenia relations and ways to promote substantive cooperation in trade, investment and logistics as well as measures to work together on North Korea policy and expand people-to-people exchanges between the two countries.
President Moon began by welcoming President Pahor to Korea, giving high marks to his leadership in Slovenia’s democratic reform and economic development. President Moon noted that President Pahor’s visit this time held a special meaning in that it was the first official visit to Korea by a Slovenian President since 1992 when diplomatic ties were established.
President Pahor thanked President Moon for his warm welcome, expressing the hope his visit would help boost close cooperation for furthering bilateral relations.
The two Presidents noted that trade between the two countries has greatly increased by more than 20 times over the past decade and gave a high evaluation of the rising investment cooperation in such future growth areas as manufacturing and pharmaceuticals. They agreed to work more closely together to promote logistics cooperation concerning maritime and over land transportation through the Port of Koper, the gate way Korea`s automobile and steel companies use to advance to Central and Eastern Europe.
President Pahor said he welcomed the signing of the ROK-Slovenia Social Security Agreement on the occasion of his visit. The Agreement mainly calls for exempting the two countries’ dispatched workers and self-employed people from making pension contributions in their host country for the first five years of their stay as well as aggregating the contribution periods in their home and host countries to improve their pension entitlements. In this connection, President Pahor expressed his expectations for further enhancement of people-to-people and economic exchanges between the two nations.
Speaking of recent developments on the Korean Peninsula, President Pahor said he sees hope in President Moon’s policy to solve the issue without the use of force. Noting that returning to a hardline policy of the past would increase the anxiety of the international community, President Pahor went on to say that he fully supports President Moon’s courage and determination to seek dialogue.
President Moon said there was still a risk of conflict between North Korea and the United States but fortunately, the two countries seem to recognize the need for a dialogue. The President continued to say that he and the Korean Government would make endeavors to ensure that the inter-Korean talks made possible by the Pyeong Chang Olympics would develop into a dialogue between the United States and the North and discussion on the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. Then, the President asked for Slovenia’s support in these efforts.