Lithuania's Foreign Ministry has denied statements by Parliament Speaker Viktoras Pranckietis that the country plans to open an embassy in Seoul “in the near future”.
Pranckietis unveiled the plans after his meeting with Moon Hee-sang, the speaker of South Korea's National Assembly, on Monday.
In a press release issued after the meeting, Pranckietis' spokeswoman said: “According to the head of the Seimas, diplomatic relations are also important and, therefore, he invited the Korean delegates to consider opening (Korean) embassy in Vilnius. Lithuania is planning to open its embassy in Seoul in the near future.”
Rasa Jakilaitienė, spokeswoman for the foreign minister, told BNS that the ministry is currently “evaluating possibilities” for opening Lithuania's embassy in South Korea.
According to Jakilaitienė, Lithuania is opening its embassy in Croatia this week and is in the process of opening an embassy in the United Arab Emirates, with plans to set up an embassy in Australia next year.
Moon Hee-sang also met with Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė and Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis.
The president invited South Kore to invest in Lithuania's high technology and manufacturing sectors.
“Innovation, ICT, Fintech, biotechnologies and electronics are the areas that open up vast opportunities for businesses in both countries,” her press service said in a news release.
“Exports of Lithuanian-made lasers, IT and food products would contribute to boosting bilateral trade,” it added.
The president and the speaker also discussed security situation on the Korean Peninsula.
“According to the president, peace, nuclear disarmament and stability on the Korean Peninsula is a shared interest of the international community, therefore, Lithuania supports efforts to ensure this,” the press service said.
Vilnius supports an additional consultation format (3+1) among the three Baltic States and South Korea and the establishment of a joint economic committee, it said.
“Lithuania also seeks to finalize bilateral agreements on cooperation in the areas of culture, art, education, science, youth policies, and sports as well as on work and travel program for young people,” according to the press release.
South Korea is Lithuania's fourth-largest trade partner in Asia. Some 100 Korean students studied at Lithuanian universities this year, and 9,000 tourists from the Asian country visited Lithuania last year.