(The spoken version shall take precedence)
It is an honour to receive His Excellency, President Moon Jae-in and the First Lady, Mrs. Kim Jung-sook, on this state visit.
First of all, the Queen and I would like to offer our sincere condolences on the tragic boating accident in Budapest two weeks ago. It caused the death of several Korean citizens, and our thoughts are with the victims, their families and loved ones.
2019 marks a very special year, as Sweden and the Republic of Korea celebrate 60 years of diplomatic relations. And the relations between our two countries are indeed excellent.
I have had the opportunity to pay several visits to the Republic of Korea – and I am always fascinated by the striking similarities between our societies and economies.
Since 1953, Sweden is part of the Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission in the demilitarized zone in Panmunjom. Up until today, more than 960 Swedes have served the cause for peace there.
Furthermore, Sweden and the Republic of Korea share fundamental values of democracy, human rights and an open economy.
This forms a solid foundation for our friendship. And this state visit is a manifestation of our wish to strengthen our ties even further.
During this visit, we will be paying special attention to some areas where there is great potential to develop successful exchanges and cooperation. These include digitalization, innovation, sustainability and research, as well as social welfare and the concept of the inclusive society.
Mister President, it is our pleasure to welcome you and the First Lady to Sweden. This state visit is a most valuable opportunity to further strengthen the friendship and cooperation between our two countries. I look forward to making the most of it.