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S Korea, Vietnam Vow to Further Strengthen Ties
President of the Republic of Korea Lee Myung-bak (C) reviews the honor guards accompanied by Vietnam's President Nguyen Minh Triet (L) during a welcoming ceremony prior to their meeting in Hanoi, capital of Vietnam, Oct. 21, 2009.(Xinhua)

South Korean President Lee Myung-bak and his Vietnamese counterpart Nguyen Minh Triet on Oct.21 pledged to further strengthen the ties between the two nations, according to South Korea's presidential office Cheong Wa Dae.

Lee, currently on a three-nation Southeast Asian tour including Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand, held a summit with Triet earlier in the day in Hanoi, during which the two leaders agreed to upgrade the relationship between the two nations to a "strategic cooperative partnership."

They also agreed to establish a dialogue mechanism between the two countries' defense and foreign ministries to enhance cooperative security and political relations.

The two presidents called for closer economic cooperation to boost the bilateral trade, and agreed to launch a joint study before the end of the year on issues concerning a possible bilateral free trade agreement.

The two leaders also promised to work together closely in international forums, such as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), to promote their mutual interests, the Cheong Wa Dae said. Vietnam will take the chair of ASEAN in 2010.

Lee arrived in Hanoi Tuesday. He will also visit Cambodia and Thailand, where he will attend the ASEAN Plus Three (China, Japan and S. Korea) summit.




 

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