South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol has asked French President Emmanuel Macron to help ensure new European Union trade laws do not discriminate against South Korean businesses, an official said here on Wednesday.
Yoon made the request during a summit with Macron at Elysee Palace on Tuesday as they agreed to provide active government support to increase investment in each other’s advanced industries, including rechargeable batteries, Yonhap News Agency quoted Principal Deputy National Security Adviser Kim Tae-hyo as saying.
“President Yoon asked for President Macron’s special attention so that the new trade legislation measures being pushed by the EU do not have discriminatory effects on our businesses,” Kim told reporters.
The two leaders also agreed to expand space cooperation and defence cooperation between France’s Airbus and South Korean businesses on the occasion of the planned launch of South Korea’s own national aeronautics administration, or its version of the NASA.
Yoon and Macron committed to expanding technological cooperation for next-generation small modular reactors and clean energy, including hydrogen energy, while also agreeing to increase exchanges and cooperation between startups run by young people.
Denouncing North Korea’s repeated provocations, the two leaders agreed on the need for the international community to respond firmly to Pyongyang’s unlawful activities.
Yoon also explained the government’s efforts to address North Korea’s human rights situation, including through the recent public release of a North Korean human rights report in what was a first for the South Korean government.
Macron expressed his firm support for the South Korean government’s efforts, saying the two countries should work together to enhance human rights conditions in North Korea.