1. Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Cho Sei-young had a multilateral teleconference with his counterparts of countries in the region for about 40 minutes from 10:30 am, March 27, Korea Standard Time.
° The teleconference, the second meeting following the first one held on March 20, was joined by vice foreign ministers of 7 countries -- the Republic of Korea, the United States, Japan, the Commonwealth of Australia, New Zealand, the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam, and the Republic of India.
2. The vice foreign ministers shared the current COVID-19 situation and the progress in the implementation of disease control measures in their respective countries, and exchanged views on ways to work together, including in repatriating their overseas nationals and coordinating on international aid.
3. Vice Minister Cho explained that the ROK has largely maintained a downward trend in the number of newly confirmed COVID-19 cases, but that, in response to the recent inflow of the virus from abroad, the ROK government has stepped up screening measures for inbound travelers. On the other hand, the ROK has been making efforts to find the balance between containing the virus and minimizing impact on economy, which will be essential for preserving the global value chain.
° Vice Minister Cho mentioned that the ROK government has been stepping up public campaigns to promote reinforced “social distancing” from March 22 to April 5 with the aim to resume schools in early April, among others. He added that, in the process of implementing the campaign, the ROK has imposed restrictions on operations of high-risk facilities and businesses only, and has also been making efforts for ensuring people’s usual economic activities.
- Vice Minister stressed that, nonetheless, the ROK’s disease control policy will remain laser-focused on diagnostic testing and tracing in order to prevent the spread of the virus in a way that can be in balance with daily life.
4. The vice foreign ministers agreed to continue close communication and collaboration through teleconferences in the process of responding to COVID-19.