Seoul will keep working to create a mood for dialogue between the U.S. and North Korea, Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon said during a joint press conference with Austrian Prime Minister Sebastian Kurz on Friday.
Calling the scrapping of the June 12 summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un "very regrettable," Lee said he won't be pessimistic about it and will remain hopeful.
On Thursday (Seoul Time), Lee left on a weeklong trip to Austria and Ireland for talks with those countries' leaders about ways to enhance bilateral relations and economic cooperation.
Lee called on his Austrian counterpart and the European Union (EU) to support Seoul's efforts to solve security issues on the Korean Peninsula in a peaceful manner.
The Austrian Prime Minister replied that he hoped the summit would take place in the near future to achieve denuclearization on the peninsula and bring lasting peace in the region.
Beside North Korean matters, the two discussed ways to promote trade and investment and enhance mutually beneficial cooperation in areas such as basic science, research and development.
"South Korean carmakers have recently increased investment in Austria to develop technologies for future cars," Lee said, adding the two countries would strengthen cooperation in various fields that could serve as new growth engines.
Lee also emphasized the longstanding friendship between the two by mentioning Franziska Donner, the Austrian wife of South Korea's first president, Syngman Rhee. It has been 125 years since the two nations established diplomatic ties.
After the joint press event, Lee paid a visit to President Alexander Van der Bellen to discuss ways to improve ties and to exchange views about security issues on the Korean Peninsula. (Yonhap)