1. Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Cho Sei-young had the 5th multilateral teleconference on COVID-19 response with his counterparts of countries in the region on the morning of April 17.
o The teleconference among the 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 -- has taken place on a weekly basis following the first meeting on March 20.
2. The vice foreign ministers shared the developments in the spread of COVID-19 and response measures in their respective countries, and exchanged views on the impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic on the region as well as ways to resume economic activities when COVID-19 situation subsides.
3. Vice Minister Cho explained that the ROK held the parliamentary election on April 15 as scheduled, which is the first nationwide election since the start of the global spread of COVID-19, and that the election recorded the highest voter turnout for a parliamentary election in 28 years, with a number of voters participating in early voting to avoid crowds on election day. He added that the election was carried out in an orderly manner as voters thoroughly complied with prevention measures, including temperature checks, use of hand sanitizer, and wearing face masks and plastic gloves.
o In addition, as many countries, including the ROK, are considering easing social distancing and normalizing economic activities, Vice Minister Cho offered to continue cooperation, including sharing experiences and best practices, and explained the ROK’s efforts to share its experiences in tackling COVID-19.
o Vice Minister Cho also expressed appreciation to countries in the region for supporting the repatriation of Korean nationals, and hoped to continue such cooperation.
4. The vice ministers agreed to continue close communication on various related areas, including supporting the repatriation of their nationals and resuming economic activities, to respond to COVID-19.