On the sidelines of the 37th regular session of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC), Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha met bilaterally with Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Peter Szijjarto of Hungary on February 26, during which the two top diplomats discussed ways to enhance the Republic of Korea-Hungary relations and to support Korean investment companies operating in Hungary as well as the situation on the Korean Peninsula. This was recently disclosed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
With the ROK and Hungary set to mark in 2019 the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations and the ROK’s northern diplomacy, the two Ministers agreed to step up cooperation between the Foreign Ministries of the two countries in a bid to increase high-level exchanges between the two countries.
In particular, the two top diplomats drew a common understanding that the ROK and the Visegrad Group, which is establishing itself as a significant minilateral consultative mechanism in Europe, should broaden the scope of cooperation to include various sectors.
Hungary is the first country that the ROK forged diplomatic relations with (February 1989) among the then communist countries, as the ROK was embarking on northern diplomacy toward them.
The Visegrad Group (V4), founded in 1991, is a regional consultative mechanism among Central European countries of Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary (chair from July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2018).
Minister Kang, bringing attention to the recent, brisk investment by Korean companies in electric car battery plants and other high-tech industries of Hungary, asked for the Hungarian government’s attention to and support for those companies’ bid to operate smoothly in the country.
Minister Szijjarto suggested that the ROK and Hungary jointly make substantial preparations for the commemorative projects for the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations, adding that the Hungarian government will strongly support investment activities of Korean companies, which are contributing greatly to economic development of Hungary.
Minister Kang shared with her Hungarian counterpart the recent developments in the situation on the Korean Peninsula, including North Korea’s participation in PyeongChang Olympic Winter Games and inter-Korean dialogue; and asked Hungary and the rest of the international community to continuously pay attention and cooperate in order for the momentum of inter-Korean dialogue built over the sporting event to lead to denuclearization talks.
Minister Szijjarto, sharing the Minister’s view on the importance of diplomatic efforts to mitigate tensions on the Korean Peninsula, relayed the Hungarian government’s strong support for the ROK government’s efforts toward peace, stability and the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
This meeting is expected to serve as an opportunity to promote friendship and cooperation with Hungary, a member of the V4, the ROK’s partner for diplomatic diversification, and Korean companies’ main investment destination.