Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte to visit South Korea

Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte to visit South Korea

Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte will attend the Nuclear Security Summit in the South Korean capital Seoul on 26 and 27 March 2012. Mr Rutte will extend his stay in Seoul by two days to further strengthen the Netherlands’ existing close bilateral economic ties with South Korea. In 2011, Dutch exports to South Korea were worth €3.4 billion, while South Korean exports to the Netherlands were worth €3.5 billion.

The Nuclear Security Summit is an initiative of US president Barack Obama. It aims to focus attention at the highest political level on the threat of nuclear terrorism and the drive to combat the illegal trade in nuclear materials. The first Summit was held in Washington in 2010. This year, more than 50 heads of government will attend in Seoul.

Nuclear terrorism is among the most serious and pressing threats to world security. The Netherlands – a logistical hub with large distributive centres like Rotterdam and Schiphol – is especially vulnerable to the illegal trade in nuclear materials. The Dutch government is therefore keen to promote international cooperation in the area of nuclear tracing technology, in which the Netherlands Forensic Institute (NFI) is an active participant. The Nuclear Security Summit occupies a central position in Dutch policy on security and non-proliferation. The Dutch government has therefore responded positively to requests that it chair the Summit in 2014. On 27 March, the heads of government will take a final decision on which country will chair and host the 2014 Summit.

Following the Summit, Mr Rutte will pay a bilateral visit to South Korea. This year, the Netherlands and South Korea mark 50 years of bilateral diplomatic relations. Economic ties between the two countries are also strong in terms of bilateral trade and investment. After the United States and Japan, the Netherlands is the third-biggest foreign investor in South Korea. The Netherlands is also the EU’s biggest recipient of Korean investment, which in 2011 consisted of 25 projects worth a total of €48 million.

Source: government.nl

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