KRYNICA – President Gitanas Nauseda said on Thursday that he sees a "very keen interest" from South Korea in Lithuania and expects the country to open its embassy in Vilnius in the near future.
Nauseda's comment came after his meeting with South Korean Prime Minister Han Duck-soo at Krynica Forum in Poland.
The two leaders discussed cooperation not only in the economic sphere, but also in the defense industry, according to the Lithuanian president.
Nauseda neither confirmed nor denied information, published earlier by Defense Minister Arvydas Anusauskas, that Lithuania is considering purchasing South Korean-made tanks, among other options.
"Korean companies took part in the Baltic Miltech (military industry) conference in Vilnius this spring, and I know that Korean companies are going to take an active part in the Live Science conference next week," the president told BNS.
"All this reflects the very keen interest that South Korea has in Lithuania," he added.
Nauseda said Han Duck-soo told him about plans to organize a visit by major South Korean companies to Lithuania in the next six months.
"I hope this will be a very good impetus to concretize our wishes in the area of cooperation and turn them into more specific projects," the Lithuanian president said.
The South Korean president's visit to Vilnius in July during NATO's summit gave a significant boost to Korean interest in Lithuania, expediting the country's decision to open its embassy in Vilnius, according to Nauseda.
"I was impressed by the president's statement that when he saw Vilnius, when he saw Lithuania up close, he made this decision (to open the embassy) in the same minute, even though there had been a rather long process of reflection before then," he said.
Nauseda expects South Korea's embassy in Vilnius to open its doors in less than a year.
Lithuania opened its embassy in Seoul two years ago. It is headed by diplomat Ricardas Slepavicius.