Central Asian leaders say they’ll look to S. Korea as “model for national development” | Eurasia Diary - ednews.net

22 May, Wednesday

Central Asian leaders say they’ll look to S. Korea as “model for national development”

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Leaders from three Central Asian countries accompanied South Korean President Moon Jae-in throughout most of his recent tour of the respective countries and said they would regard South Korea as a “model for national development,” the Blue House reported.

Moon also worked during the visit to support US$13 billion worth in contracts for South Korean companies spanning a total of 24 projects, the Blue House said.

Meeting with reporters on Apr. 22 in the Kazakh capital of Nur-Sultan (formerly Astana), Blue House National Security Office Second Vice Director Kim Hyun-chong said, “[President Moon] obtained firm support for his New Northern Policy from the leaders of the three Central Asian countries during this tour and increased the prospects for increasing the expansion of South Korean businesses into Central Asia.”

“He also achieved results in terms of repatriating the remains of independence fighters and brightening the spirits of 300,000 Koryoins [ethnic Koreans living in former Soviet states],” he added.

Kim described the leaders of the Central Asian countries as going out of their way to offer Moon respectful treatment.

“President [Shavkat] Mirziyoyev of Uzbekistan accompanied [Moon] throughout his schedule apart from his meeting with ethnic Koreans and said he would regard South Korea as a model for national development,” he said.

“From what I could see, it was at the level of a ‘bromance,’” he added.

“President [Gurbanguly] Berdimuhamedow of Turkmenistan also accompanied him for his entire schedule apart from a flower-dedication event,” Kim continued. “In particular, he accompanied [Moon] at a gas chemical plant in Kiyanly about 500km from the capital.”

“President [Kassym-Jomart] Tokayev of Kazakhstan came to his hotel on the day of his visit for an unscheduled meeting over tea and accompanied him to a business forum,” Kim said.

“All three leaders said they intended to regard South Korea as a national development model and very much wished to learn about South Korean systems,” he continued, adding that this would “serve as an engine driving the New Northern Policy.”

Kim also noted significant results in economic terms.

“With this visit, [Moon] actively supported efforts to acquire business and mitigate issues for South Korean companies in the three Central Asian countries,” he said.

“He supported project orders for South Korean companies amounting to US$13 billion on a total of 24 projects (five in Turkmenistan, 15 in Uzbekistan, and four in Kazakhstan), and received proposals for cooperative efforts amounts to US$12 billion in Uzbekistan and US$3.2 billion in Kazakhstan,” he added.

Kim further noted that Turkmenistan President Berdimuhamedow had “stated that he wanted to collaborate with South Korean companies on large-scale projects like Kiyanly and pledged to provide support with things like shortening visa issuance times for South Korean businesspeople.”

“President Mirziyoyev of Uzbekistan made plans to actively cooperate with South Korea in the defense industry based on the trust between them,” he added.

“He also provided a firm pledge to resolve the issue of around 800 Koryoins who remain stateless,” he said.


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