- Press Releases
Outcome of 9th Mekong-ROK Foreign Ministers’ Meeting
1. Minister of Foreign Affairs Kang Kyung-wha attended the Mekong-Republic of Korea (ROK) Foreign Ministers’ Meeting held in the Kingdom of Thailand on August 3. During the Meeting, the two sides discussed ways to continue to enhance the cooperative relations between the ROK and the Mekong countries, which have been upgraded to the summit level from this year.
2. Minister Kang sternly pointed out and expressed serious concern over the unfairness of Japan’s unilateral and arbitrary export-restrictive measures against the ROK, including the removal of the ROK from Japan’s whitelist announced on the morning of August 2; and stressed that such measures could pose a serious threat to the prosperity in the region.
° The ministers shared the understanding that with the top priority placed on the value of free trade, they oppose measures that undermine or limit free trade in any context on the bilateral or multilateral level.
3. Minister Kang underlined the importance of the Mekong region, a geographical pivot connecting ASEAN, China and India as well as an area that is drawing attention as a future growth engine of the global economy with abundant natural resources, a young population and a high economic growth rate. She went on to explain the cooperation projects the ROK government is carrying out with the Mekong countries as part of its New Southern Policy, including the expansion of the official development assistance (ODA) for the Mekong countries and of the Mekong-ROK Cooperation Fund; the implementation of the Mekong-ROK Plan of Action; and the Mekong-ROK Business Forum.
4. Minister Kang emphasized that the situation on the Korean Peninsula is a very important factor in fostering security environment for co-prosperity of the ROK and the Mekong countries. Mentioning that the momentum of dialogue among the ROK, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and the United States has been continuing since the meetings at the truce village of Panmunjeom on June 30, the Minister expressed hope for the Mekong countries’ continued support for the efforts toward complete denuclearization and the establishment of a lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula.
5. Lastly, Minister Kang, calling the year 2019 a historic one in which the Mekong-ROK cooperation has been upgraded to the summit level, voiced hope for a successful inaugural Mekong-ROK Summit, set to take place this November.
° The Minister asked the participating ministers to pay special attention for the Summit to be held successfully and lead to a stronger Mekong-ROK cooperation, including the improved quality of life of the Mekong people through strengthened cooperation in the non-traditional security area; environmental cooperation for sustainable development of the Mekong region; and the adoption of a “Mekong-Han River Declaration,” which contains a review and assessment of the outcome of the Mekong-ROK cooperation as well as a vision for the future.
foreign ministers of the Mekong countries highly commended the ROK government’s
efforts to deepen and upgrade the Mekong-ROK relations; and mentioned that they
will extend full support and cooperate for a successful inaugural Mekong-ROK
Summit and the development of the Mekong-ROK cooperative relations.