By Hyonhee Shin and Ju-min Park
SEOUL (Reuters) - Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Wednesday his country is ready to partner with South Korea on critical minerals and clean energy projects, and to fend off North Korea's nuclear and missile threats.
Addressing South Korea's parliament, Trudeau said Canada was committed to increase military engagement to mitigate threats to regional security, while working together with Seoul to denuclearise North Korea.
"Canada is ready to strengthen our partnership with friends like Korea on everything from critical minerals to high-tech innovation to clean energy solutions," Trudeau said.
He said the issues will be "at the core" of a summit with South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol set for later on Wednesday, which will be followed by a press conference and official dinner.
Trudeau arrived in Seoul on Tuesday in the first visit in nine years by a Canadian leader as the two countries seek to boost cooperation on security and critical minerals used in electric vehicles (EVs).
Yoon and Trudeau will sign an agreement on key mineral supply chains, clean energy conversion and energy security cooperation, a South Korean government official has said.
The two countries, whose relations mark the 60th anniversary this year, are also exploring ways to expand security ties including intelligence sharing, while navigating a rivalry between the United States and China.
Trudeau said stability in the Indo Pacific and the North Pacific is essential to global security, and urged North Korea to abandon its weapons programmes and reopen denuclearisation talks.
"Canada is committed to increase not just our trade, but also our military engagement as a means of mitigating threats to regional security," Trudeau said.
"We will continue to call on North Korea to return to dialogue and diplomacy," he added, vowing support for efforts to build "a denuclearised, peaceful and prosperous Korean Peninsula."
(Reporting by Hyonhee Shin and Ju-min Park; Writing by Ed Davies and Hyonhee Shin; Editing by Tom Hogue and Michael Perry)