South Korea and the Southern Common Market, also known as Mercosur, will launch trade negotiations to forge a free trade pact in the first half of the year.
Visiting Argentina, the chair of Mercosur, on Thursday, Seoul's Trade, Industry and Energy Minister Joo Hyung-hwan agreed to launching trade negotiations.
Made up of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay, Mercosur is a regional economic bloc that was established in 1991. Venezuela joined the bloc in 2012 but does not take part in external trade negotiations.
With the signing of the joint statement, South Korea and Mercosur will begin trade deal negotiations within the first half of the year after undergoing necessary domestic procedures respectively.
Date: March 3, 2017