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Deputy Minister for Multilateral and Global Affairs Attends Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom
1. Deputy Minister for Multilateral and Global Affairs Kang Jeong-sik attended the 2nd Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom hosted by the Department of State of the United States (U.S.) in Washington D.C. on July 18. At the meeting, he took part in the discussion on challenges of religious freedom and ways to resolve them.
° Deputy Minister Kang voiced concern over increasing violations of religious freedom and religion-based discrimination across the world and stressed that all stakeholders, including governments, religious leaders, civil societies and academic circles, should cooperate on making efforts to foster a culture of religious tolerance as well as mutual understanding and respect.
2. On the occasion of the Ministerial, Deputy Minister Kang met with Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs of the U.S. Department of State Kevin Moley, during which the two sides exchanged views on key issues of the United Nations (UN), including the UN peacekeeping operations, responses to sexual violence in conflict, and international organizations’ elections.
° Deputy Minister Kang mentioned that the Republic of Korea had hosted the 1st International Conference on “Action with Women and Peace” in July 2019 and will hold the next United Nations Peacekeeping Ministerial in 2021, both in a bid to play a responsible role in promoting international peace.
° Assistant Secretary Moley suggested that the ROK and the U.S. continue close bilateral communication and consultations on key multilateral issues, such as international organizations’ elections.
3. On the same day, Deputy Minister Kang met with Deputy Assistant Secretary for Korea and Japan of the U.S. Department of State Marc Knapper to exchange views on various matters of mutual interest, including regional issues such as the situation on the Korean Peninsula and the ROK-Japan relations.
° The two sides agreed to continue close, high-level coordination on key issues on such occasions as the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) Foreign Ministers’ Meeting.
4. During the meetings with the officials of the U.S. Department of State, Deputy Minister Kang stressed that the ROK government has maintained the will to advance its relations with Japan in a future-oriented manner under the two-track policy. He went on to express concern over various negative impacts of Japan’s measures to impose restrictions on the export of its products to Korea.
° Deputy Minister Kang mentioned that the ROK government hopes that Japan would withdraw the measures and the situation would not deteriorate further. He added that the ROK government intends to make efforts toward a diplomatic resolution through dialogue with Japan.
° The two sides agreed to continue to cooperate in order to strengthen communication between the ROK and the U.S. as well as among the ROK, the U.S. and Japan through diplomatic channels at various levels.
* unofficial translation