1. On August 19, 2019, Minister of Foreign Affairs Kang Kyung-wha met with President of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) Paik Jin-hyun, who is on a visit to the Republic of Korea (ROK) for the 2019 International Conference on the Law of the Sea to take place in Seoul on August 20-21. During the meeting, the two sides discussed the upcoming 2019 International Conference on the Law of the Sea, the progress in the ROK-ITLOS cooperation, and the international law of the sea in general.
° The meeting was joined by Vice-President David Joseph Attard, Judges James Kateka and Tomas Heidar, and Deputy Registrar Ximena Hinrichs Oyarce of ITLOS.
2. Minister Kang commended ITLOS’ contributions to the peaceful resolution of international maritime disputes and the development of the law of the sea since the Tribunal’s establishment in 1996; and expressed hope that President Paik will continue to make achievements from his activities as President of ITLOS.
° The Minister also noted with appreciation that the ROK government and ITLOS, following the previous year, will co-host the 2019 International Conference on the Law of the Sea; and mentioned the need for the ROK and ITLOS to further boost academic and people-to-people exchanges, including through continued academic exchanges and the dispatch of Junior Professional Officers (JPOs).
3. President Paik extended appreciation to the ROK government for its continued and strong support to ITLOS over about 20 years; and agreed on the need to step up cooperation between the ROK government and ITLOS for sustainable and peaceful uses of oceans and seas.
° President Paik also noted that the 2019 International Conference on the Law of the Sea will cover new challenges in the law of the sea, including the issues of deep seabed mining and marine biodiversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction, and voiced hope for the ROK government’s continued intellectual and financial contributions to ITLOS.
4. Minister Kang and President Paik also discussed specific cooperation projects, including ways to help developing countries build capacity and to provide them with education and training on dispute settlement under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
° The ITLOS Judges, who joined the meeting, once again stressed that it is important for developing countries to build capacity in implementing the law of the sea and extended appreciation to the ROK government for its continued assistance in this area.