President Yoon dubs France ‘Korea’s longtime friend’ at summit

President Yoon dubs France 'Korea's longtime friend' at summit
President Yoon dubs France 'Korea's longtime friend' at summit

President Yoon Suk Yeol (left) speaks on June 20 at a joint news conference with Emmanuel Macron, President of France, at Élysée Palace in Paris.

President Yoon Suk Yeol, on an official visit to France, on June 20 visited Élysée Palace for a bilateral summit with Emmanuel Macron, President of France.

At a joint news conference before their talks, President Yoon called France “a longtime friend of the Republic of Korea,” saying, “France fought in the Korean War that broke out on June 25, 1950, lost 3,241 lives and jointly blocked North Korea’s invasion to help the Republic of Korea develop into an economic giant and producer of K-content.”

President Yoon requested President Macron and the French public’s support for Busan’s bid to host the 2030 World Expo, saying, “The Busan World Expo will provide a platform for exchange among global corporations to create new businesses.”

President Macron said, “I would be remiss not to mention the increasingly close ties between our cultural and academic institutions, such as the partnership between Hanwha Foundation of Culture and the Centre Pompidou.”

“They reflect an immense admiration for your country, particularly among French youth. We have seen this on several occasions, most recently with the huge success of K-pop groups in Paris,” he added. “We will work to create the same fervor for French culture in Korea.”

On economic cooperation, President Yoon said, “As the world now faces uncertainty and complex crises, bilateral cooperation must extend to cutting-edge technology and future strategic sectors,” adding, “At today’s summit, we will seek to expand bilateral cooperation to future strategic industries such as space and aviation and set up practical economic cooperation and supply chains.”

A luncheon and summit were held after both leaders released a joint news release, with a minimum number of attendees.

Principal Deputy National Security Adviser Kim Tae-hyo told a briefing in Paris that day, “Based on value solidarity, the two leaders agreed to expand bilateral cooperation in multilayered and groundbreaking ways.”

“On the occasion of the founding of Korea’s national space administration, both leaders agreed to expand cooperation in space and collaboration between France’s Airbus and Korean companies in the defense industry, clean energy such as next-generation small modular reactors and hydrogen energy, and exchange of and cooperation among youth startups.”