Posted October. 22, 2009 07:31,
Korea and Vietnam yesterday upgraded bilateral relations from a "21st century comprehensive partnership" to a "strategic cooperative partnership."
President Lee Myung-bak and Vietnamese President Nguyen Minh Triet adopted a joint statement to that effect after their summit at the Presidential Palace in Hanoi. Korea is the fifth country to form a strategic cooperative partnership with Vietnam, following China, Russia, India and Japan.
To strengthen bilateral cooperation and promote dialogue in diplomacy, security and defense, both leaders promised to designate vice foreign ministers as representatives and hold annual vice minister-level talks in diplomacy. They will also boost military exchanges.
President Lee`s public relations secretary Lee Dong-kwan said, A strategic cooperative partnership means that the two nations will forge cooperative relations in all sectors, including politics, economy, personnel and cultural exchanges.
The two leaders also agreed to double bilateral trade volume from 10 billion U.S. dollars last year to 20 billion dollars by 2015. The joint statement said Korean companies will help develop areas nearby the Hong (Red) River and a double-track rail line linking Ho Chi Minh City and Nha Trang. A new high-speed railway will link Ho Chi Minh City and Can Tho.
Back when Lee was Seoul mayor in 2005, he helped Vietnam establish plans for the river project worth seven billion dollars. The double-track line linking Ho Chi Minh City and Nha Trang is worth nine billion dollars and the proposed construction of a high-speed railway being studied for feasibility.
The two leaders also pledged more efforts to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula via the six-party talks.
After leaving for Phnom Penh today, President Lee will hold a summit with Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen.