President Yoon Suk-yeol held a summit with Kenyan President William Ruto, who officially visited South Korea on Nov. 23, and exchanged opinions on ways to strengthen exchanges and cooperation between the two countries, especially in energy, defense and nuclear fields.
Ruto, who took office in September, visited Korea for the first time in 32 years as Kenyan president. In 1990, then Kenyan President Daniel arap Moi visited Korea at the invitation of President Roh Tae-woo. President Moi was his nation's first leader to visit Korea since the two countries formed diplomatic ties.
President Yoon said, "I sincerely congratulate President Ruto on his inauguration. Thank you for choosing Korea as your first destination in Asia. Kenya is now suffering from drought, and we will cooperate to reduce the damage even a little."
Kenya is a non-permanent member of the U.N. Security Council and a leader in the East African community, he said. "It is a traditional ally that has maintained a long-standing friendly relationship with Korea under the banner of liberal democracy since the establishment of diplomatic relations."
In response, Kenyan President Ruto said, "I would like to express my deep gratitude for your great welcome and warm hospitality. The two countries have had historical ties, which are based on common values and principles, including multilateralism."
In September this year, a Korean delegation including former People Power Party Rep. Choung Byoung-gug, former lawmaker Kim Jae-kyung and presidential director for policy coordination and planning Jang Sung-min attended President Ruto's inauguration ceremony.
The delegation delivered President Yoon's handwritten message on the latter's intent to boost the two countries' traditionally amicable and cooperative relations and asked President Ruto to visit Korea soon.