President Sauli Niinistö met with his South Korean counterpart, Moon Jae-in, at the Presidential Palace in Helsinki today. At the front of the palace, Moon and his spouse, Mrs. Kim Jung-sook, were greeted by the sunshine, the mild sea breeze and a warm handshake by President Niinistö.
After their talks, the presidents briefed the press.
“Our citizens in both nations have similar experiences and characteristics,” said President Niinistö and continued, “After hard experiences in history, both countries have risen to success.”
Niinistö talked about the Finnish concept of sisu, and he said with a smile that he is happy to share this Finnish innovation with Koreans. “It’s responsibility and diligence. It’s about performing one’s duty according to one’s capabilities.”
Niinistö said that Finland is fully aware that the Korean Peninsula is at the focal point of peace and that “we truly appreciate President Moon’s efforts to create a historical state of peace at the Korean peninsula.” “But we understand well that it’s not just a question of the Korean peninsula. If one is able to proceed it has great significance to the peace of the world. We are willing to give our unreserved support.”
“We are also willing to offer you good services if needed.”
This statement provoked several questions from the media of what kinds of services President Niinistö was referring to.
One of the famous Finnish diplomatic services was hosting the top-level meeting between the Russian President Vladimir Putin and his US counterpart, Donald Trump, in Helsinki last July.
The presidents also talked about climate change, which according to Niinistö “is a great threat to humanity.” “We need to put our best technical efforts to combat climate change. Both countries are well developed technically,” Niinistö said.
“I am delighted to pay a state visit to Finland which has shown us the way to happiness and is also leading humanity toward inclusiveness and peace,” President Moon said. “In spite of a series of economic crisis, Finland has become a leader in innovation through outstanding creativity and technology.”
“Korea is also aspiring to become an innovative and inclusive nation. Finland’s experience and accomplishments give us plenty of inspiration. I hope that our two countries can become great partners that benefit and closely cooperate with each other years ahead.”
President Moon’s program on Monday will also include a lunch provided by the City of Helsinki, a meeting with the speaker of the Finnish Parliament and a visit to Aalto University.
Mrs. Kim Jung-sook will visit the New Children’s Hospital and Design Museum with Mrs. Jenni Haukio. The day will conclude with a gala dinner hosted by President Niinistö and Mrs. Haukio in the Presidential Palace.
On Tuesday 11 June, President Moon Jae-in will meet the prime minister at his Official Residence, Kesäranta. He will also speak in a business forum at Paasitorni Congress Centre together with President Niinistö and lay a wreath at the Hietaniemi Cemetery.
On Tuesday, President Moon Jae-in will meet Prime Minister Antti Rinne at his official residence at Kesäranta. He will also speak in a business forum at Paasitorni Congress Centre together with President Niinistö and lay a wreath at the Hietaniemi Cemetery.