South Korean President Moon Jae-in is wrapping up his state visit to Austria - the first visit by a South Korean head of state there since the two countries forged diplomatic ties nearly 130 years ago.
At his bilateral summit with Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen and Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, the leaders agreed to strengthen cooperation in advanced technologies and elevate bilateral relations to a "strategic partnership."
Let's take an in-depth look: Joining us live from Vienna is Heinz Gartner, Affiliated Researcher at the Austrian Institute for International Affairs.
Dr. Gartner, thanks for joining us.
President Moon Jae-in's visit marks the first state visit by a South Korean president to Austria since bilateral relations were established 130 years ago. What's the significance, and why do you think it took so long for the visit to happen?
President Moon held talks with Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen as well as Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, agreeing to elevate their relations to a 'strategic partnership' with a focus on new industries in the field of science technology. How do you assess the outcome of the two rounds of talks?
President Van der Bellen told the press that Austria would provide covid vaccines if North Korea requested it. How do you see this, and if Austria's vaccine aid to the North is materialized, what are the implications to their bilateral relations?
President Moon made quite a presence at the G7 Summit with South Korea's ambitious goal of becoming the hub of global vaccine supply. He's due to hold a virtual conference with CureVac CEO today which follows his meeting with AZ CEO in Cornwall. What are your prospects for South Korea's goal in expanding global vaccine supply, and how can Seoul and Vienna further boost cooperation in the world's fight against covid?
President Moon, during his talks with Chancellor Kurz, thanked Austria's support for his Korea Peace Initiative and urged continual cooperation. While many questions and uncertainties remain on the issue of North Korea's denuclearization, how is Austria observing the changing regional dynamics surrounding the Korean Peninsula?
Heinz Gartner at the Austrian Institute for International Affairs joining us live from Vienna. Thank you.