Joint Statement on the Establishment of a Strategic Partnership between the Government of the Republic of Korea and the Government of the Kingdom of the Netherlands

His Excellency Yoon Suk Yeol, President of the Republic of Korea (hereinafter referred to as “the ROK”) and His Excellency Mark Rutte, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of the Netherlands (hereinafter referred to as “the NL” ) held a summit meeting in Seoul on 17 November 2022 on the occasion of the official visit of Prime Minister Mark Rutte to the ROK. 

Acknowledging the sacrifices made by the soldiers of the NL during the Korean War, an effort preceding the forging of official diplomatic relations,

Noting with great satisfaction that the ROK and the NL have developed an extensive bilateral relationship in all areas including the economy, trade and culture over the past 61 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1961, 

Affirming the fundamentals of our relations sharing the commitment to uphold universal values of freedom, democracy, human rights, the rule of law, the rules-based international order and a rules-based trading system with resilient markets,

Recognizing our shared interests as trading nations, middle-powers with open, innovative and high-tech economies,

Emphasizing the importance of the Comprehensive and Future-oriented Partnership forged during the official visit of Prime Minister Mark Rutte to the ROK in 2016 which generated valuable momentum to further consolidate, deepen and diversify the cooperation between the ROK and the NL,

Convinced that as geopolitical partners we need to strengthen our cooperation to contribute to global peace, prosperity and security, including law of the sea, and economic security, and to further Indo-Pacific and Euro-Atlantic alliances,

Determined to further expand our cooperation in the fields of strategic areas of mutual interest at the bilateral, regional and global levels, as well as in jointly addressing emerging and future common challenges in the 21st century, 

the two Leaders agreed to elevate the bilateral relations to a Strategic Partnership. 

Political and Security Cooperation

1. The two Leaders noted with satisfaction the vibrant high-level exchanges between the ROK and the NL since the Yoon Suk Yeol administration took office in May this year, including an in-person bilateral meeting on June 29, 2022 on the margins of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization meeting. 

2. The two Leaders confirmed their strong intention to meet again at the highest level in the foreseeable future.

3. The two Leaders agreed to upgrade the existing Deputy-Ministerial Political Consultation Dialogue to a biennial Ministerial-level Strategic dialogue between the Foreign Ministers in order to address issues of common concern, including in the area of security and economic security. The two Leaders agreed to intensify and expand the existing bilateral consultations and exchanges both at the high-level and working/expert level aiming at implementing the Strategic Partnership.

4. The two Leaders shared the view that there is great potential to enhance the security and defense cooperation between the two countries, as was discussed between the Defense Ministers in June 2022 at the 19th Asia Security Dialogue and between the Foreign Ministers in September 2022 in Seoul. The two Leaders agreed to work together to strengthen bilateral defense cooperation both at the high-level and working level, by working towards an overarching Memorandum of Understanding on Defense Cooperation.

5. Both Leaders affirmed their commitment to ensuring a free, open, secure and interoperable cyberspace. Also, the two Leaders agreed that the existing Cyber Policy Consultation will act as a useful platform for deepening cooperation on cyber policy. Both Leaders also agreed to enhance the collaboration to come up with measures in the realm of the responsible development and use of Artificial Intelligence and co-host the Summit on Responsible AI in the Military domain (REAIM) in February 2023 in the NL.

6. The two Leaders condemned the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK)’s recent ballistic missile launches and conventional provocations including repeated violations of the 2018 Comprehensive Military Agreement (CMA). The Leaders reiterated that the DPRK’s destabilizing activities continue to present a grave threat not only to peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula but also the rest of Asia and indeed the world. The Leaders reaffirmed their shared goal of the complete denuclearization of North Korea and the importance of the full implementation of the relevant UN Security Council resolutions. Prime Minister Mark Rutte expressed his continued support for the tireless efforts made by the ROK Government in this regard, including the Audacious Initiative for a denuclearized, peaceful and prosperous Korean Peninsula. The two Leaders also expressed concerns on the deteriorating human rights situation in North Korea and agreed to strengthen cooperation in trying to ameliorate the human rights situation of ordinary North Koreans as universal values should be protected under any circumstances. 

Economic, Cultural and Social Cooperation

7. The two Leaders noted with great satisfaction the robust and increasing trade and investment relations between the two countries. The ROK is the 3rd largest trade partner of the NL in Asia and the NL is the 2nd largest trade partner of the ROK in the EU. During the last Joint Economic Committee (JEC) on 18 October 2022, both countries agreed to strengthen collaboration in the fields of semiconductors, economic security and hydrogen.

8. The two Leaders recognized the importance of jointly addressing various complex issues related to economic security, noting the complementarity and mutual interdependency of the two countries in tight-knit global supply chains. Therefore, the two Leaders agreed to deepen consultations and cooperation in the area of economic security. The two Leaders agreed to increase mutual visits and exchanges among relevant governmental agencies, including the Center for Economic Security and Foreign Affairs in the ROK, to further discuss concrete deliverables. 

9. The Leaders agreed to jointly explore possible ways of strengthening coordination and consultation between the public sector and the private sector, in order to ensure economic security and resilient global supply chains, and to jointly protect and promote critical and emerging technologies including in the area of semi-conductors, Artificial Intelligence and smart-agriculture. The two Leaders in particular underscored the significance of further strengthening existing collaboration between the two countries’ semi-conductor industries and expressed their intention to support the private sector in order to sustain a resilient supply chain in that sector. 

10. The two Leaders agreed to continue discussions on ways to further enhance cooperation between their nuclear power industries. With a view to strengthening bilateral cooperation on nuclear energy, they agreed to establish expert-level discussions to explore ways to exchange key information and coordinate among stakeholders. 

11. As part of the elevated Strategic Partnership, the two Leaders also agreed to work closer together to produce concrete deliverables in the areas of clean energy, including wind energy and hydrogen, low carbon green economy, digital innovation, smart agriculture, the space industry, the defense industry, science and technology, research and development, as well as logistics, smart port and transportation. 

12. The two Leaders underlined the importance of people-to-people and cultural exchanges and expressed the wish to deepen the bonds of friendship and mutual understanding between young generations through cultural cooperation, and in particular, through the successful Working Holiday Program between the ROK and the NL for which the possibilities to expand the quota are being explored. 

13. The two Leaders agreed to explore the possibilities to share expertise in the framework of education policy and cultural activities, and promote the mobility of researchers and academic scholars through relevant frameworks, as well as encourage student exchanges and university cooperation. 

Regional and Global Cooperation

14. The two Leaders agreed to strengthen mutual cooperation across the Indo-Pacific region. The basis for this cooperation will be the ROK’s Indo-Pacific Strategy and the NL’s Indo-Pacific Guidelines, as well as the EU Indo-Pacific Strategy.

15. The two Leaders condemned Russia’s unprovoked aggression against Ukraine which is a clear violation of international law, and reiterated the commitment to the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity. The two Leaders committed to implementing their country’s respective measures to deter further Russian aggression and to assist the people of Ukraine by providing humanitarian assistance. 

16. The two Leaders reaffirmed their strong commitment to multilateralism, as well as universal values including democratic principles, human rights, good governance and the rule of law. The two Leaders agreed to continue their close cooperation in the ICC and international fora such as the United Nations, G20, NATO, OECD and the WTO. The two Leaders agreed to closely communicate on the margins of such fora. 

17. The two Leaders reaffirmed their commitment to strengthening the implementation of the Paris Agreement and the subsequent agreements, including the outcomes of COP meetings. The two leaders expressed the will to show global climate leadership. Leaders particularly highlighted the importance of phasing down coal and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, including methane. To this end, the NL has committed to reducing CO2 emissions by 55-60% in 2030. The two Leaders recognized the meaningful role that the Green Climate Fund, P4G, Global Green Growth Institute and Global Center on Adaptation play in responding to climate change. 

18. The two Leaders discussed how hosting World Expositions can provide an opportunity to change the outlook of a country’s development, providing and delivering a vision for the future to address global challenges. President Yoon Suk Yeol requested the support of the NL for the ROK’s bid to host the World Expo 2030 in Busan and Prime Minister Mark Rutte will positively consider supporting ROK’s candidacy. 


19. The two Leaders agreed to hold the Ministerial-level Strategic Dialogue in advance of the next summit meeting to identify specific areas of cooperation and develop concrete initiatives for the purpose of defining and implementing the ROK-NL Strategic Partnership. 

Seoul, 17 November 2022