Kazakhstan and Korea: long-term interests of interaction
Kazakhstan and Korea are strategic partners and the countries are at the stage of their active deepen interaction. There are no political differences between Astana and Seoul. The leadership of Korea highly appreciates the achievements of Kazakhstan in the political and socio-economic spheres, supports Kazakhstan’s initiatives in the CICA, the Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions and actively participates in their implementation. Read in the review material of “Strategy2050.kz” about the areas in which cooperation between two countries is developing.
On April 16-17, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea Kang Kyung-wha will arrive in Astana with an official visit. Her meeting with Kazakh Foreign Minister Kairat Abdrakhmanov is planned.
During the bilateral meeting, the heads of the foreign ministries of two countries is planning to discuss the development of the Kazakh-Korean trade and economic cooperation, the schedule of joint international events, consular issues, as well as the global and regional agenda, including the inter-Korean dialogue and the situation around the Korean peninsula.
In this regard, it is worth remembering what relations connect Kazakhstan and Korea.
Diplomatic relations between Kazakhstan and South Korea were established on January 28, 1992. The Embassy of Korea in Kazakhstan was opened in 1993. In response, the Embassy of Kazakhstan in Korea was opened in 1996. Let us note that since March 2012 the Ambassador of Kazakhstan to Korea is D. Bakishev, and since April 18, 2017, the Ambassador of Korea to Kazakhstan is Kim Dae Sik.
Experts note that the national economies of two countries do not compete with each other and are complementary. The mentality of peoples, ancient customs, beliefs and even the Kazakh and Korean languages are very similar. Kazakhstan and Korea are united by long-term interests, common understanding of responsibility for international security and stability in Asia.
“For our country, which has its own interests in the Asia-Pacific region and in Asia as a whole, it is important to develop strong relations with South Korea, which occupies one of the leading positions in its region. Enhancing the global role of Seoul in the 21st century, the country’s geopolitical location and direct participation in one of the main issues on the international agenda (North Korean issues) give it the status of one of the main players in East Asia”, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan noted.
At the same time, it is worth mentioning that the bilateral group of friendship and cooperation operates between the parliaments of two countries. The annual summit talks about the friendship and strength of the relations between our countries. The agreements between the leaders of our countries testify to the high dynamism of our relations and their impressive results.
Let us recall the meetings at the highest level. Thus, Kazakh leader Nursultan Nazarbayev visited the Republic of Korea three times with a state visit (May 15-18, 1995, April 21-23, 2010, November 9-11, 2016), with an official visit (November 12-14, 2003) and with a working visit (the 2nd Nuclear Security Summit March 26-27, 2012).
The Presidents of Korea visited Kazakhstan three times with a state visit (Roh Moo-hyun September 18-20, 2004, Lee Myung-bak May 12-14, 2009, Park Geun-hye June 18-20, 2014), twice with an official visit (Lee Myung-bak August 24-25, 2011 and September 13-14, 2012).
In addition, the Head of State met with South Korean leaders in the framework of international events in third countries (with Lee Myung-bak on August 9, 2008 as part of the Beijing Olympic Games, with Park Geun-hye on September 6, 2013 as part of the G20 Summit in St. Petersburg, and also on September 4-5, 2016, a short meeting in Hangzhou on the margins of the “G20” Summit).
Let us cite the figures of trade and economic cooperation. According to the State Revenue Committee of the Ministry of Finance of Kazakhstan, the volume of trade between Kazakhstan and South Korea in January-November 2017 amounted to about 1.465 billion US dollars, which is more than twice the figure for the same period in 2016 (627 million US dollars). At the same time, exports from Kazakhstan to South Korea amounted to 941.1 million US dollars, and imports – 524 million US dollars.
The main articles of Kazakhstan’s export are: uranium, ferroalloys, rolled non-alloy steel and iron, gold, copper. The main articles of the Kazakhstani import: electronics, machinery and equipment, car bodies (including cabins) for vehicles, cars and other vehicles.
Over 900 legal entities, branches and representative offices with South Korean participation were registered in Kazakhstan.
One of the distinctive characteristics of relations between countries is the existence of strong cultural and humanitarian ties. Relations in this area have reached a high level. The Korean diaspora in Kazakhstan, which plays the role of a kind of bridge between the peoples, especially in the cultural and humanitarian sphere, is important.
It is noteworthy that the department of Kazakh studies operates at Kangnam University. The Kazakh language is taught at the Department of Central Asian Studies, Hankuk University of Foreign Languages.
On a regular basis, various cultural events are held by the parties. In recent years, A. Musakhodzhayeva and “Academy of Soloists”, G. Murzabekov, Zh. Aubakirov, N. Ussenbayev, “Elimai”, “Icker”, “Naryn”, “Adyrna”, “Altynai”, “Didar”, “Naz” and “Dauren” groups visited the Republic of Korea with concerts. The partnership between the symphonic orchestra of the Kazakh State Philharmonic and the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra has been established, the years of Kazakhstan in Korea and Korea in Kazakhstan have passed.
It is impossible to get around the topic of interaction at the regional level. Thus, twinning has been established between the capitals of two countries (since 2004). To date, the Protocol on Friendship and Cooperation between Aktau and the South Korean city of Changwon is in force. On an annual basis, bilateral trade and investment events are conducted with the participation of South Kazakhstan, Mangistau, Aktobe, and East Kazakhstan and other regions.
Thus, Kazakhstan and Korea maintain friendly relations. The countries are strategic partners and the countries are at the stage of their active deepen interaction. The meeting of the foreign ministers of two countries will tie the relations of the states even stronger.
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Source: Kazakhstan 2050