South Korea is seeing Türkiye as one of the most important economic partners in Europe, the country's top diplomat said Monday.
"Türkiye is one of the most important economic partners in Europe for South Korea," Foreign Minister Park Jin told Anadolu Agency (AA), stressing the fact that nearly 160 South Korean companies operate in the country.
Park said that his three-day visit to Türkiye, a "blood brother country," is meaningful and the strategic partnership of the two countries will develop further in various fields.
Recalling that Türkiye was the fourth country that sent the highest number of soldiers to fight in the Korean War, Park said: "Our people are always grateful, and they do not forget Türkiye's sacrifice."
Park also cited cooperation in the defense industry, saying the delivery ceremony of Türkiye's main battle Altay tank, equipped with a power pack supplied from Korea, was held in April.
He said he visited the 16th International Defense Industry Fair (IDEF'23) in Istanbul last week and met with Türkiye's National Defense Minister Yaşar Güler.
"We talked about the cooperation between the two countries in the field of defense. There are good examples of cooperation between Korea and Türkiye, such as the Altay armored vehicle and the K9," he said.
On the devastating earthquakes that struck the southeastern region in early February, Park said South Korea has provided humanitarian aid worth $5 million to Türkiye.
South Korea is also building 2,000 temporary settlements for the survivors, he said.
"The Korean government continues to support earthquake survivors so that they can overcome the damage caused by the earthquake and have a sustainable social and economic life," he added.
The foreign minister further said that the future of industrial cooperation between Korea and Türkiye is "bright."
"I hope that the cooperation between the land forces, which is currently active, will extend to the navy."
Noting that as of March 2023, the cumulative investment of Korean companies in Türkiye stands at approximately $3.8 billion, Park stated that this figure has been increasing steadily.
Adding that investment in culture is as important as investment in industry, Park said: "I believe that not only will the Korean culture become widespread in Türkiye, but also that Turkish culture will spread in Korea and will further develop in a way that will benefit both sides."