- Korea-EU Summit (March 2012)
- President Lee Myung-bak held a summit with President Herman Van Rompuy of the European Council and President Jose Manuel Barroso of the European Commission on March 28, on the margins of the Seoul NSS. The leaders evaluated the bilateral ties which further advanced since the Korea-EU FTA took effect last July. At the meeting followed by a joint press conference, the two sides agreed to deepen their strategic partnership in line with a global agenda of seeking shared values such as human rights, democracy, sustainable development, and green growth. They agreed to step up cooperation in the international arena including the G20 and the upcoming Rio+20.
- Korea-Gabon Summit (March 2012)
- President Lee Myung-bak and President Ali Bongo Ondimba of Gabon met on March 28 for a bilateral summit meeting to discuss the outcome of the recent Nuclear Security Summit as well as the future of Korea-Gabon cooperation. Marking the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations, the two leaders expressed their shared hope that special anniversary events would serve to deepen mutual understanding between their countries. Both agreed to promote business exchanges in infrastructure and human resource development.
- Korea-Denmark Summit (March 2012)
- President Lee Myung-bak held a summit talk with Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt on March 27 focusing mainly on the strategic partnership and green growth alliance between Korea and Denmark as well as the current state of affairs on the Korean Peninsula. President Lee expressed his appreciation for the efforts of Denmark, which currently holds the Presidency of the Council of the European Union, in urging North Korea to abide by existing Security Council resolutions and suspend its plans for the launch of a long-range rocket in April. In response, the Danish Prime Minister assured the president that both Denmark and the EU support South Korea’s policy towards the North. The two leaders also exchanged views on green growth policies, agreeing to expand mutual cooperation by holding green growth-related conventions and summits throughout the year.
- Korea-Australia Summit (March 2012)
President Lee met with Prime Minister Julia Gillard on the summit sidelines for a one-on-one meeting on March 27. Their discussion focused largely on North Korea’s upcoming rocket launch. Both leaders agreed that the launch would violate UN resolutions and threaten regional stability. Also discussed was the economic relationship between the two countries. Both leaders agreed to work closely together to support various joint projects between businesses from their respective countries. Previously the two governments hoped to have a FTA in place by the end of 2011, but there are still more preparations to be made before a deal can be signed.
- Korea-South Africa Summit (March 2012)
- President Lee Myung-bak held a bilateral summit meeting with South African President Jacob Zuma on March 27. They praised the progress that has been made in bilateral cooperation since the establishment of diplomatic ties in 1992. As 2012 marks the 20th anniversary of these ties with various commemorative events scheduled throughout the year, President Lee and President Zuma agreed to work together to encourage more exchanges between their two countries. Energy resources also figured in the agenda, with both leaders pledging to support companies active either in the electrical power industry or in the development of mineral resources such as coal, chrome, and rare earth minerals.
- Korea-Italy Summit (March 2012)
- President Lee Myung-bak met with the leader of Italy, Prime Minister Mario Monti, where they discussed economic cooperation as well as the ongoing North Korea issue. The prime minister condemned the North’s plans and voiced his full support for South Korea’s stance on the issue. President Lee said that his government is fully prepared to extend active support to the North if they are willing to cancel their plans. They also agreed to expand investment and human exchanges between their two countries. In 2011 a free trade agreement went into effect between Korea and the European Union, which the two leaders agreed would help their two countries work closely together.
- Korea-UAE Summit (March 2012)
President Lee had a summit talk on March 26 with the leader of the United Arab Emirates, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, to exchange thoughts on measures for expanding cooperation between the two countries. They both agreed that the strategic alliance between the two countries has developed greatly. They also discussed measures to expand their cooperation in various fields including green growth, hygiene, and education, as well as nuclear power, energy, and construction. In addition, the two countries showed their satisfaction with the nuclear power plant construction project which Korea is currently conducting in the UAE and agreed that they will support and help each other for the continuing development of both nations.
- Korea-Russia Summit (March 2012)
- President Lee Myung-bak met with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on March 26 at Cheong Wa Dae for a discussion of key issues on the agenda of the 2012 Seoul Nuclear Security Summit (NSS), as well as a shared look at the progress of Korea-Russia bilateral relations. The president expressed his gratitude for Russia’s efforts to implement measures that align with the aims of the NSS, including safe disposal of nuclear waste and the conversion of highly enriched uranium (HEU) to less enriched versions. President Medvedev in turn lauded Korea for the role that it is playing in realizing the vision of the international community for a “world free of nuclear weapons,” expressing his confidence of the success of the summit. The two leaders also evaluated the substantive progress that has been made in cooperation between their two countries, citing an over USD 20 billion bilateral trade volume in 2011 as well as joint efforts for natural resource development.
- Korea-Turkey Summit (March 2012)
- President Lee Myung-bak held a summit talk with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of Turkey on March 26 at Cheong Wa Dae to discuss detailed cooperative measures for developing the strategic alliance between the two countries which had been established in February last year. They both attended a signing ceremony for an FTA joint declaration. Earlier in March the two countries had previously discussed the basic composition of the FTA which includes a basic agreement and a goods trade agreement. They talked about mutual cooperation in the infrastructure and construction sectors and also agreed to expand cultural exchanges to meet Turkey’s increased interest in Hallyu, or the Korean wave.
- Korea-China Summit (March 2012)
- President Lee Myung-bak held a one-on-one meeting on March 26 with Chinese President Hu Jintao to discuss several issues of shared concern, including the current state of affairs on the Korean Peninsula as well as plans for a more effective economic and political partnership. The two leaders agreed to work together to strengthen mutual cooperation and expand strategic cooperation through events that are being held throughout the year to commemorate the 20th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic relations. They also agreed on broadening political dialogue and reaching a bilateral trade volume of USD 300 billion by 2015. The two leaders also reaffirmed the progress that has been made in FTA talks between the two countries, with a conclusion on key issues expected in May.