Canada ready to collaborate with S. Korea on critical minerals, clean energy

2023.05.18 13:56:01 | 2023.05.18 13:57:21

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, left, talk with Kim Jin-pyo, speaker of the National Assembly of Korea at the National Assembly in Seoul, on May 17. [Photo by Kim Ho-young]이미지 확대

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, left, talk with Kim Jin-pyo, speaker of the National Assembly of Korea at the National Assembly in Seoul, on May 17. [Photo by Kim Ho-young]



Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stressed that his country is ready to work with South Korea on critical minerals and a green partnership in an address to Korea’s National Assembly on Wednesday. Trudeau is visiting South Korea on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

“Korea is a leader in nuclear energy, and we are going to keep collaborating on this zero-emissions energy source,” Trudeau said. “The two countries will continue to work together in the field of nuclear energy and come up with various solutions required by a net-zero world.”

Trudeau also noted Korea Gas Corp.’s investment in Canada’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) project, which will replace the use of coal and Russian natural gas. He emphasized Canada’s eagerness to strengthen the partnership with Korea in various areas, including critical minerals, high-tech innovation, and clean energy solutions.

During the speech, Trudeau drew attention by pronouncing “60th birthday” in Korean, highlighting the significance of the 60th anniversary of diplomatic ties between the two countries. “In Korean culture, the age of 60 means that one cycle ends and another begins,” he said. “In this regard, I would like to suggest that we all renew our shared commitment and start a new cycle of peace, prosperity, and sustainability as best friends.”

Referring to a popular Canadian television sitcom, Kim’s Convenience, which aired on CBC, he also said that Canada has embraced the Korean Wave, adding, “Our countries are closely intertwined through the economy, society, culture and history, and our future will be the same.” Furthermore, he recounted that his father opened the Canadian embassy in Korea in 1973 when his father was prime minister. He revealed that the son of the Canadian ambassador at that time became his senior policy advisor, further illustrating the historical ties between the two countries.

Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol, right, shakes hands with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau before summit at the presidential office in Yongsan, Seoul, on May 17. [Photo provided by Office of the President]이미지 확대

Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol, right, shakes hands with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau before summit at the presidential office in Yongsan, Seoul, on May 17. [Photo provided by Office of the President]



Trudeau’s address marked the first time since November 8, 2017, that a foreign leader spoke at South Korea’s National Assembly, reminiscent of the address given by then-U.S. President Donald Trump.

Later in the day, Trudeau held a summit meeting with Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol at the presidential office in Yongsan, Seoul. The two leaders agreed to elevate the bilateral relationship to a comprehensive strategic partnership based on five shared priorities in the areas of values, security, prosperity, sustainability, and beyond.

In a joint statement issued following the summit, Trudeau and Yoon agreed to fight against online disinformation and cooperate in strengthening multilateral governance frameworks for artificial intelligence and quantum technologies. They also agreed to enhance bilateral cooperation in security and defense, with Trudeau reiterating Canada’s support for Korea’s initiative to achieve a denuclearized, peaceful, unified, and prosperous Korean Peninsula, which includes expanding Canada’s naval presence and participation in multinational operations in the region, such as joint efforts to monitor UN Security Council sanctions imposed against North Korea.

Furthermore, Trudeau reaffirmed Canada’s commitment to working closely with South Korea and the international community to address North Korea’s provocative actions while calling on the North to return to denuclearization talks. The two leaders also disclosed the two countries’ recent signing of a memorandum of understanding on defense materiel and research & development cooperation. Trudeau expressed his anticipation for the arrangement, saying that it will serve as a mechanism to facilitate overarching dialogue and cooperation between the two countries on defense materiel and R&D matters, including the exchange of technical information, loans of materiel, joint test and evaluation activities, and harmonize bilateral defense and national security requirements.

By Park Yun-geun, Lee Ji-yong, and Yoon Yeon-hae

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