A strengthening bond: South Korea and Panama

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The South Korean government announced its intention to start negotiations for a free trade agreement with Panama, days after a North Korean flagged freighter carrying undeclared arms cargo was detained in Panamanian waters. Seoul said it appreciated the Panamanian government’s actions. The matter is now being investigated by the United Nations. However it is important to note that diplomatic relations between the isthmus and North Korea are non-existent.

Ships at core of ties

Panama has a 50-year commercial relationship with South Korea and according to Aram Cisneros, the Panamanian Ambassador in South Korea, the shipping industry is at the core of the relationships between the two nations. The South Korean government sponsors a knowledge-sharing program, which promotes exchanges in areas such as education, agriculture, logistics and public services. A strong possibility exists that South Korean investors will finance new terminals along the Panama Canal, so the relationship appears to be strengthening even more.

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