S. Korea, UAE boost ties to "special strategic partnership" with defense cooperation as key pillar

문 대통령, 文대통령 "한·UAE, 잡음있었지만 신뢰 쌓는 계기" 특별 전략적 동반자 관계 격상
President Moon Jae-in, on a four-day official visit to the UAE, held a bilateral summit with the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi on Sunday.
The two leaders agreed to upgrade their relations to a "special strategic partnership."
Our chief Blue House correspondent Moon Connyoung reports. Abu Dhabi.
Signified in an array of stunning sky scrapers and endless sandy beaches... it's almost impossible to imagine that this was once nothing but wind-blown desert sand dunes.
In just 30 years time, the United Arab Emirates has undergone a profound transformation.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in and the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan have taken President Moon's first official visit to the Middle Eastern country to expand their horizon of cooperation.

"I've been looking forward to my UAE visit. Although we've had an exchange of special envoys, I am delighted to be able to see you in person and discuss ways to develop our bilateral relations."

During their bilateral summit, the two sides reviewed their bilateral cooperation amidst volatile international situations.

"As you may well know, Mr. President, the relationship between our two countries is already very strong and special. But I hope the two countries will not be satisfied and endlessly study ways to further develop our relations."

Thus coming to the conclusion to upgrade their bilateral relations to a special strategic partnership... which means a new type of forward-looking cooperation that can drive each other's growth and advancement beyond the horizon of material economic relations.

National defense, healthcare, agriculture, space exploration... and even state-of-the-art technology for the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

"When the UAE's wise decision to invest in future industries is coupled with South Korea's IT capacity and state-of-the-art technology, I have no doubt that we can together lead the era of intelligence information."

The South Korean president also put behind speculation of dispute between the two over a possible secret military deal reached under a former president back in 2009.

"South Korea is UAE's best cooperation partner in East Asia and UAE is South Korea's best cooperation partner in the Middle East. The past incidents, rather, helped build more trust between the two countries."

A senior Blue House official said President Moon and Crown Prince Mohammed agreed that defense cooperation is the backbone of their current bilateral relations.

"The two countries will become true brothers that look into the next 100 years, just as the name 'Akh' unit means."

That... a reference to the 130-strong South Korean contingent stationed in the UAE to help train the UAE military for combat.

"The South Korean president’s visit to the UAE shows the Asian nation's deepening ties with the Gulf country. If the 20 billion US dollar nuclear power plant project was the key pillar of the 2009 South Korea-UAE strategic partnership, the two leaders have made clear... at the core of the 2018 special strategic partnership is defense cooperation.
Moon Connyoung, Arirang News, Abu Dhabi."

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