Honduras and South Korea inked four Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) that will further solidify the two countries’ partnership in the energy sector, knowledge exchange, and fight against poverty.
Honduras President Juan Orlando Hernández and South Korean President Geun-hye Park held a summit on July 21 at the Blue House in Seoul, South Korea. The two leaders observed the signing of four Memoranda of Understanding by their respective ministry representatives.
The parties will develop international cooperation between law enforcement bodies in the two countries. Honduras’ Foreign Minister Arturo Corrales and South Korea’s police agency will facilitate efficient exchange of knowledge through personnel training. This includes information that will boost the two countries’ crime prevention techniques, improve digital forensics techniques and maintenance of public order.
Cooperation to stamp down on transnational crimes was also agreed upon. Honduras and South Korea will ally to investigate drug, human, and firearms trafficking, money laundering, organized crime, forgery, smuggling of ammunition and explosives and cybercrime.
An e-government will also be established to provide their citizens better online government services.
“The principles of equality and mutual benefit will be respected to simplify the regulations and procedures to ensure that the interaction between the two countries and their citizens will be transparent, safe, and of high quality,” the MOU stated.
Honduras and South Korea will help each other set up the e-government by providing technical assistance, and conducting joint studies, La Tribuna reported.
The MOU will last for five years, but there will be an opportunity for renewal. The countries’ respective resources will be used initially, unless they then decide to source funds elsewhere.
The agreement also stated that a Korean driver’s license will be eligible for use in Honduras, and vice versa without the need to undergo exams or prove that they can drive a vehicle.
Energy and infrastructure
In line with South Korea’s goal to cut its carbon footprint by 37 percent when 2030 hits, the Asian nation signed an MOU with Honduras that will aim to reduce greenhouse gases in different means, Yonhap News Agency reported. South Korea will supply Honduras with electric cars and erect charging stations there as well.
“I hope that the two nations’ cooperation can contribute to international efforts to reduce greenhouse gases,” President Park said.
Honduras also hopes to enhance the country’s power transmission and distribution amid the loss of 32 percent of its energy in the said processes, a lot compared to the 12 percent loss of other South American countries.
“The two sides agreed to expand cooperation on the energy industry, including the establishment of an environmentally friendly village,” President Park added.
The planned pro-environment village will make use of renewable energy sources and energy-saving devices. The two countries are also mulling over tapping the Green Climate Fund to construct a landfill power plant in the Honduras capital, Tegucigalpa, which will use methane gas.
Honduras will also receive support to develop its “New Community” project that will widen the scope of rural development and combat poverty.
Negotiations on reaching a consensus regarding a Free Trade Agreement already started in June among South Korea, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama.
South Korea is President Hernández’ first stop during his first Asian tour since stepping into office.