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TALLINN – It is in the interests of Estonia and all Western allies that the Korean peninsula become nuclear-free, chairman of the Estonian parliament's foreign affairs committee Marko Mihkelson said in a meeting with a delegation of South Korean MPs on Friday.
During the meeting of the Estonian parliament's foreign affairs committee with the chairman of the foreign affairs committee of the parliament of South Korea, Shim Jae-Kwon, and members of the committee expanding cooperation in the cyber field and trade and the security political situation on the Korean peninsula were discussed, spokespeople for the Riigikogu said.
Mihkelson said it was in the interests of Estonia and all Western allies for the Korean peninsula to become nuclear-free. "The only acceptable way to achieve this is through diplomatic negotiations," Mihkelson said. He expressed hope that the sanctions imposed on North Korea will be implemented by everyone and it will be possible to hold negotiations.
Mihkelson said that in bilateral relations between Estonia and South Korea untapped opportunities exist for significant intensification of trade.
"Estonia should strive to the South Korean market much more actively than has been the case to date, and make use of the free trade treaty that exists between the European Union and the Republic of Korea," the MP said, adding that there is interest for this on the part of South Korea.
Defense cooperation between Estonia and South Korea meanwhile has risen to an entirely new level in the past couple of years. A letter of intent has been signed with a view to the procurement of self-propelled artillery from Korea and cooperation in cyber defense is developing rapidly, according to Mihkelson.
The head of the Estonian parliament's foreign affairs committee said at the end of the meeting that Estonia and South Korea could seriously think about the establishment of diplomatic missions in each other's capitals.
"Estonia only stands to gain from a mission that would focus primarily on promoting economic relations," Mihkelson said.
Keit Pentus-Rosimannus, deputy chair of the Riigikogu foreign affairs committee, said that cooperation in cyber defense should be developed further, given the high importance of this domain regardless of the country's geographical location.
The head of the foreign affairs committee of the national assembly of South Korea affirmed the interest of the government of South Korea in intensifying trade and working closely with Estonia in the fields of cyber defense and e-governance.