Thailand, South Korea leaders promise closer partnership

Thailand, South Korea leaders promise closer partnership

Prayut, Moon sign 6 MoUs, push for RCEP conclusion

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha South Korean President Moon Jae-in share a light moment before a press conference at Government House on Monday. (Photo by Patipat Janthong)
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha South Korean President Moon Jae-in share a light moment before a press conference at Government House on Monday. (Photo by Patipat Janthong)

Thailand and South Korea have pledged to strengthen their strategic partnership to promote relations between East and Southeast Asia.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha on Monday praised an official visit to Thailand by South Korean President Moon Jae-in as a vital move for the two countries to build on their partnership. The two countries agreed to foster cooperation on issues ranging from security to economics as a way to promote ties between the East and Southeast Asian regions, he added.

Gen Prayut hosted a meeting at Government House for Mr Moon, who was the first South Korean leader to visit Thailand for seven years.

Thailand and South Korea agreed to seek the conclusion of negotiations for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) by the end of this year, Government House said in a statement released after the meeting.

Mr Moon called the visit a new chapter for relations between the two countries. Thailand 4.0 policies matched the New Southern Policy of the South Korean government, he added.

The New Southern Policy was the brainchild of Mr Moon. It was launched in 2017 to ease reliance on relations with South Korea's traditional partners, including the United States, China, Japan, by engaging new partnerships in Southeast Asia and South Asia.

The two leaders also witnessed the signing ceremony of six memorandums of understanding (MoUs) during the visit.

The MoUs cover smart cities, Industry 4.0; education; water development; rail, transport and infrastructure development; and military cooperation.

Thailand is hoping to wrap up the long-delayed RCEP during its Asean chairmanship this year.


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