South Korean and Myanmarese officials attend a policy consultative meeting in Naypyidaw on Wednesday. (Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
Deputy Foreign Minister Kim Gunn has held talks with senior Myanmarese officials in Naypyidaw to discuss bilateral cooperation on the occasion of the 45th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries, the foreign ministry said Friday.
His four-day trip to Myanmar that ends Friday focused on laying the groundwork for stronger cooperation ahead of next year's launch of Myanmar's new administration and expanding practical exchanges despite COVID-19, the ministry said.
On Wednesday, Kim met International Cooperation Minister Kyaw Tin to discuss ways to bolster economic cooperation and people-to-people exchanges, as well as Seoul's New Southern Policy Plus, an upgraded version of its regional initiative to deepen ties with Southeast Asian countries.
The two sides agreed to closely cooperate to ensure that bilateral cooperation programs, such as constructing an economic cooperation complex and building a "bridge of friendship" linking the commercial capital of Yangon and the township of Dala.
Kim used the meeting to ask for Myanmar's cooperation to ensure South Korean businesspeople can enter the country more smoothly despite pandemic-driven restrictions.
On the same day, Kim held a policy consultative meeting with his counterpart, Chan Aye, in the first such diplomatic forum since the last one in Seoul in 2009.
Kim called for closer cooperation in responding to the pandemic, securing vaccines and allowing essential business trips, which the deputy minister called necessary for economic recovery in the post-coronavirus era.
Chan Aye noted that South Korean businesses' activities are beneficial for local residents and pledged support for their activities in the midst of COVID-19, the ministry said. The official also reaffirmed Myanmar's support for Seoul's New Southern Policy Plus.
On Friday, Kim plans to meet South Korean businesspeople operating in Myanmar and heads of Korea's public institutions there. (Yonhap)