President Niinistö on the President of the Republic of Korea’s state visit to Finland: “We offer our unreserved support in efforts to achieve peace”
President of the Republic of Korea, Moon Jae-in, is on a state visit to Finland with his spouse Kim Jung-sook on 9-11 June 2019. The visit is hosted by President of the Republic of Finland, Sauli Niinistö, together with Mrs Jenni Haukio.
The presidents held a private discussion as well as talks with a larger delegation at the Presidential Palace on Monday 10 June. “Relations between our two countries are excellent; they are very close. Our cooperation has only intensified over the years following new developments, as evidenced by the documents signed today, which concern social life in a very broad sense,” said President Niinistö at the press conference. The bilateral cooperation between the two countries was strengthened during the visit through agreements and memoranda of understanding regarding areas such as start-ups and innovation, equality and energy. It was also confirmed that a direct route between Helsinki and Busan will be opened.
Koreans to benefit from ‘sisu’
President Niinistö emphasised the similar, rather difficult, historical experiences that both Finland and the Republic of Korea have undergone. Both countries have also managed to turn hardships into success stories: “There are certain similarities. In Finland we call it ‘sisu’, and we are happy to let you benefit from this Finnish innovation, ‘sisu’. It refers to a sense of responsibility and working industriously to do one’s share.” Shared experiences and collaboration between our countries are also created through working holiday and talent boost projects, which will provide talented young people with opportunities to visit and work in Finland and Korea.
We are ready to offer our services
The Presidents also exchanged views on topics such as the state of the multilateral system, equality, climate change and Finland’s upcoming EU Presidency. One of the main topics of the meeting was the situation on the Korean Peninsula and negotiations on North Korea’s nuclear programme. “The Korean Peninsula is at the focal point of global politics, even the focal point of global peace politics, it could be said. We highly value President Moon’s efforts to achieve peace, to achieve historic peace on the Korean Peninsula,” said President Niinistö, adding that the issue is not merely about the Korean Peninsula, but potential advances would be of great importance across the whole world. He said that Finland was involved in creating the EU’s policies and stands behind them. Finland also fully supports President Moon’s peace efforts: “Mr. President, we offer our unreserved support to you in your efforts to achieve peace. We are also ready to offer our services should you require them.”
The Presidents to speak in a business forum
President Moon Jae-in’s programme on Monday also included a lunch provided by the City of Helsinki, a meeting with the Speaker of the Finnish Parliament and a visit to Aalto University. Mrs Kim Jung-sook also visited the New Children’s Hospital and Design Museum with Mrs Jenni Haukio. The day will conclude with a gala dinner hosted by President Niinistö and Mrs Haukio at the Presidential Palace.
On Tuesday 11 June, President Moon Jae-in will meet the Prime Minister at his Official Residence, Kesäranta. He will also speak in a business forum at Paasitorni Congress Centre together with President Niinistö and will lay a wreath at Hietaniemi Cemetery.
The previous presidential visit from South Korea to Finland took place in 2006 when President Tarja Halonen hosted the state visit by President Roh Moo-hyun. President Niinistö last visited South Korea when he attended the international Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul in 2012.