Korea, Mongolia agree to seek increase in flights, bolster development cooperation

President Park Geun-hye (R) shakes hands with her Mongolian counterpart, Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj (L), before their talks at the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae on May 19, 2016. (Yonhap)
President Park Geun-hye (R) shakes hands with her Mongolian counterpart, Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj (L), before their talks at the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae on May 19, 2016. (Yonhap)


The leaders of Korea and Mongolia agreed Thursday to seek an increase in flights between the two nations and expand cooperation in the latter's infrastructure construction and overall economic development.
President Park Geun-hye and her Mongolian counterpart, Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj, signed three memorandums of understanding (MOUs) on strengthening bilateral economic cooperation and another on cooperation in the sports sector.
One of the MOUs concerns joint efforts to "actively" discuss ways to increase the number of flights between the two nations. 
Currently, there are 12 weekly passenger flights between Korea's western port city of Incheon and the Mongolian capital of Ulaanbaatar despite a recent increase in the number of passengers. 
Last year, some 190,000 people traveled between the two cities.
Since 2013, there has been no increase in flights between the two nations due mainly to opposition from Mongolia fearing a potentially negative impact on its airline's competitiveness. 
Under another MOU, the two sides will seek to bolster cooperation in Mongolia's urban development project. The MOU will help South Korea export its "smart city" model to the Central Asian state, Seoul officials explained.
The two countries also signed an MOU to enhance cooperation in the quarantine process for Mongolia's livestock products. Korea has been struggling to cope with illicit livestock imports from Mongolia, which could pose health risks here.
To expand Korea's support for Mongolia's development projects, the two sides, moreover, inked an MOU to enhance cooperation in various areas, including energy, education, urban development, environment and public administration reform. (Yonhap)
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