President Moon Jae-in and his Indonesian counterpart Joko Widodo agreed to strengthen bilateral economic and security cooperation in their summit, Cheong Wa Dae said Thursday.
They released a "joint vision" statement following the summit, in which they agreed to elevate relations to a "special strategic partnership" by expanding their exchanges.
The statement is the first of its kind adopted with a Southeast Asian country.
For better security coordination, the leaders agreed to establish new consultative bodies in the foreign and defense sectors and vowed to enhance economic cooperation in various industries including chemical engineering, transportation and infrastructure.
They set the aim of increasing trade to $30 billion by 2022.
Both leaders renewed their support for the "complete, verifiable and irreversible" denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula; while Widodo expressed his backing for Moon's effort to take initiative in easing tensions on the peninsula.
Widodo accepted Moon's invitation to visit South Korea next year, Cheong Wa Dae said.
The move comes as Moon is actively seeking to broaden exchanges with ASEAN countries as part of efforts to diversify the country's diplomatic and economic partners.
Strong ties with Indonesia are expected to boost Moon's "New Southern Policy," a vision to expand the country's economic influence to ASEAN countries.
"My goal is to enhance relations with ASEAN to the same level as that with our four neighboring countries. I'm determined to push the New Southern Policy to enhance cooperation with ASEAN to a groundbreaking level." Moon said during a business forum attended by 350 officials and business leaders from South Korea and Indonesia, earlier in the day.
"From trade-oriented relations, I'd like to expand them to those weighing on technology, culture and the arts, and personnel exchanges."
Moon has underlined the need to diversify foreign relations from the four powers ― the U.S., China, Japan and Russia ― to diplomacy with European, ASEAN and African countries.
The move was part of a change to the country's trade structure that has been centered on China and the U.S. Concerns were rising over the limitations of this amid China's economic retaliation following a row over the deployment of a U.S. missile defense battery in South Korea, and heightened protectionism in the U.S.
The new policy is expected to be on a par with the "New Northern Policy" Moon outlined in Russia in September, which aims to facilitate economic cooperation with Central Asian countries, Mongolia, China's three northeastern provinces and Russia's Far East.
Moon even vowed to expand South Korea's diplomatic presence to resolve the North Korean nuclear standoff, and further secure stability and prosperity in Northeast Asia during a joint press conference with U.S. President Donald Trump after their summit Tuesday.
In the business forum, Moon stressed cultivating relations with Indonesia as the key to such efforts, outlining ways of further improving bilateral ties.
He pointed out priority sectors for broadened economic cooperation, including Fourth Industrial Revolution-related strategy, the defense and medical industries and transportation.
Exemplifying the ongoing bilateral project of building a steel mill and petrochemical plant, he pledged to spur the current shift of cooperation from light industries to heavy ones. He also said, "South Korea is the best partner for an Indonesia that is seeking to be the largest manufacturer and exporter among ASEAN countries."
Earlier in the day, both countries signed a $1.9 billion-worth memorandum of understanding in transportation and infrastructure. They also signed a $230 million-worth MOU on building public housing with the South Korean company Hanhwa participating. Indonesia's MNC Group and South Korea's POSCO signed an MOU on a new city project in Indonesia's Lido area.
Moon began his eight-day tour to Southeast Asia in Jakarta Wednesday.
He started his second day paying tributes to fallen soldiers at the Kalibata Heroes Cemetery, where Indonesia's independence fighters and national leaders are laid to rest.
Indonesia is a key trading partner of South Korea and one of the largest Asian importers of the country's military equipment. Both countries have expanded economic exchanges since establishing a strategic partnership in 2006.