Joint press statement with the President of the Republic of Korea
MON 25 APRIL 2011
1. On 25 April 2011, the President of the Republic of Korea, Lee Myung-bak, and the Prime Minister of Australia, Julia Gillard, held bilateral talks at the Blue House. Prime Minister Gillard paid an official visit to Korea on April 23-25, 2011, in commemoration of the Golden Jubilee of the establishment of Korea-Australia diplomatic relations, as well as the 60th anniversary of Australia's participation in the Battle of Gapyeong.
2. The two leaders agreed that the Korea-Australia partnership had developed over the last 50 years into a broad-based partnership including significant commercial ties, strong security cooperation and wide-ranging people-to-people links. They renewed their commitment to further strengthen this partnership in the next 50 years on the basis of shared values, mutual respect and genuine friendship.
3. President Lee paid tribute to the sacrifices made by Australian soldiers to protect the democracy and freedom of the Republic of Korea and expressed gratitude for the Australian Government's unwavering support on issues concerning the Korean Peninsula. Prime Minister Gillard affirmed her support for the Korean Government's efforts to establish peace and security on the peninsula through positive progress in inter-Korean relations. She said Australia would continue to work closely with, and in support of, the Republic of Korea on this issue.
4. The two leaders condemned the DPRK's recently disclosed uranium-enrichment activities which violate UN Security Council Resolutions 1718 and 1874, and are contrary to the DPRK’s commitments under the 19 September 2005 Joint Statement. President Lee and Prime Minister Gillard urged the DPRK to comply fully with its international obligations and commitments, and cease immediately all related activities, including its uranium-enrichment program.
5. Recalling the March 2009 Joint Statement on Enhanced Global and Security Cooperation between Australia and the Republic of Korea, and welcoming the strengthened security cooperation that had occurred since then, the two leaders agreed to further expand security cooperation under the framework of the Joint Statement. They agreed that the two countries’ foreign ministers would review cooperation under the Joint Statement on the occasion of the Korean Foreign Minister's visit to Australia later this year. The two leaders agreed that bilateral defence minister talks would be held on a regular basis, commencing in 2011, and that the two sides would work toward establishing a regular “2+2” meeting of foreign and defense ministers.
6. The two leaders welcomed the revitalisation of the Korea-Australia Young Political Leaders Exchange Program, designed to deepen cooperation between the two countries' legislative bodies. They encouraged further bilateral exchanges between parliamentary leaders, including the Chairman of the Korean National Assembly and the Speaker of the Australian Parliament.
7. The two leaders agreed that Korea and Australia, as responsible middle-powers in the context of the shift of strategic and economic weight to the Asia Pacific region, would jointly seek to enhance regional stability and prosperity by promoting an active agenda for cooperation in fora such as the East Asia Summit, APEC and the ASEAN Regional Forum.
8. Pleased with the close cooperation between the two countries that ensured the success of the 2010 G20 Seoul Summit, the two leaders agreed on the importance of implementing the agreements reached at the Seoul Summit. In particular, in the context of ongoing global economic uncertainties, they agreed on the core importance of continued progress on the G20’s agenda for strong, sustainable and balanced growth, particularly to further strengthen the global economy, generate employment, decent work and rising living standards, ensure more stable financial markets and narrow the development gap. They also agreed that their priority should be to successfully implement Seoul Development Consensus and its Multi-Year Action Plan, with a focus on infrastructure and food security this year, and welcomed France’s leadership and efforts in this regard.
9. The leaders agreed that negotiations on an Australia-Korea free trade agreement were now in their final stage and reaffirmed their joint goal to conclude the negotiations this year.
10. The two leaders looked forward to building on a mutually beneficial and stable partnership in trade and the development of natural resources. Prime Minister Gillard expressed the hope that, following the signature of the Gladstone LNG contract between Santos and KOGAS, other LNG projects involving Australia and Korean companies could be brought to a successful conclusion in the near future.
11. President Lee expressed hope that Korean information technology companies with ample experience and cutting-edge technologies could participate in Australia’s National Broadband Network project.
12. The two leaders agreed to work together to advance international climate change negotiations toward a strong, collective response. President Lee welcomed Prime Minister Gillard’s announcement that Australia would contribute $10 million to the Global Green Growth Institute established by the Korean Government in 2010 to support the development of green growth strategies and policies in developing countries, and would join the Institute as a core partner represented on its Board of Directors.
13. In celebration of the Korea-Australia Year of Friendship, the two leaders expressed the hope that 2011 would serve as a new benchmark to bring the two countries and peoples even closer together through numerous cultural events and exchange programs.
14. President Lee encouraged the Australian Government to participate in the Yeosu Expo in 2012. The two leaders also agreed to work closely for the success of the upcoming Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness to be held late this year in Busan.
15. President Lee and Prime Minister Gillard also expressed a desire to intensify collaboration and information sharing on international issues of mutual concern and interest. They expressed their deep condolences to the people of Japan in the wake of the recent earthquake and tsunami disaster and affirmed their readiness to continue to support Japan’s recovery efforts. They also agreed to work together in international fora on nuclear safety issues.