Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon met Monday with the leader of an association of French-speaking countries and discussed ways to increase cooperation between the two sides, officials said.
Michaëlle Jean, secretary general of the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF), has been on a visit to South Korea to attend the PyeongChang Winter Olympics.
The organization has 54 members, four associate members and 26 observers. South Korea joined the OIF as an observer in 2016, the first Northeast Asian country to do so.
During the meeting, Lee noted South Korea's accession to the OIF as an observer, saying the country shares the universal values the OIF pursues, such as peace, the rule of law and democracy, according to Lee's office.
Jean said she looks forward to greater cooperation between South Korea and OIF member nations in all areas, including education, culture, economy and development, the office said in a statement.
Lee said that it is an honorable responsibility of South Korea to help developing countries as the country has grown from an aid recipient to an aid giver and that the country will diversify and expand aid to foreign countries. Jean said she hopes South Korea will expand its roles in the OIF.
Noting the resumption of inter-Korean talks on the occasion of the PyeongChang Olympics, Jean also said she hopes inter-Korean issues will be resolved in the way the South Korean government wants and permanent peace will take root on the Korean Peninsula, according to the statement. Lee asked for the OIF's support for inter-Korean talks to bear fruits, the office said. (Yonhap News)