Yoon, Italian president agree to strengthen cooperation in hydrogen, AI, space sectors | Yonhap News Agency

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SEOUL, Nov. 8 (Yonhap) — President Yoon Suk Yeol and Italian President Sergio Mattarella agreed Wednesday to strengthen bilateral cooperation in cutting-edge technology sectors, such as hydrogen and artificial intelligence (AI), and space exploration.

The two leaders reached the agreement during a summit at Yoon’s office on the occasion of Mattarella’s three-day state visit to South Korea, which came as the two sides are set to mark the 140th anniversary of diplomatic relations next year.

“Today, President Mattarella and I held in-depth discussions on ways to develop the bilateral relationship to a new level,” Yoon said during a joint press briefing after the summit, noting the two sides established a strategic partnership in 2018.

He cited large potential for growth in bilateral trade and investment, based on the two countries’ advanced manufacturing capabilities and cutting-edge technologies.

“President Mattarella and I agreed to strengthen cooperation in cutting-edge technologies, including in the areas of hydrogen and AI, and in the space sector,” he said.

Mattarella echoed Yoon’s remarks, saying the two agreed their countries have room for more economic and trade cooperation, and the ability to achieve it.

A number of memorandums of understanding (MOU) were signed on the sidelines, including one that will pave the way for next-generation industrial cooperation, and one on expanding the horizon of space cooperation between the two countries.

A third MOU, signed between research institutions of the two countries, calls for increasing joint research in basic sciences.

Yoon said he and Mattarella talked about regional and global issues, including North Korea’s nuclear program and their commitment to working together with the international community to end Russia’s war in Ukraine and restore peace.

“North Korea’s nuclear and missile development is a serious threat to international security beyond the Korean Peninsula and a clear violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions,” he said. “We agreed to continue to closely cooperate for North Korea’s denuclearization and improvement of its human rights situation.”

Mattarella said Italy “understands and shares” South Korea’s strong desire for peace and security on the Korean Peninsula and hopes the relevant U.N. Security Council resolutions will be adhered to.

He also said he invited Yoon to Italy and was pleased the president accepted his offer.

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