SEOUL: South Korea’s foreign minister held a series of talks with his Malaysian and Indonesian counterparts in San Francisco this week and requested their countries’ support for South Korea’s bid to host the 2030 World Expo, his office said Saturday.

Park Jin made the request during separate meetings with Malaysian Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir and Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi on Tuesday on the margins of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) ministerial meeting.

During his talks with Zambry, Park also requested support from Malaysia in efforts to elevate relations between South Korea and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) next year to a “comprehensive strategic partnership,“ Yonhap news agency cited Seoul’s foreign ministry.

The two sides also agreed to further strengthen economic cooperation in supply chains and other areas by making efforts to sign a bilateral free trade agreement.

During his discussion with Retno, Park requested Jakarta’s commitment to the completion of the joint KF-21 fighter jet development project amid concerns over Jakarta’s overdue payments in the project, currently estimated to be around 1 trillion won (US$771.4 million).

Indonesia has agreed to shoulder around 20 per cent of the project’s cost of 8.1 trillion won through 2026. - Bernama, Yonhap