- Press Releases
Telephone Conversation between Foreign Ministers of ROK and Brunei Darussalam
1. Minister of Foreign Affairs Kang, Kyung-wha had a telephone conversation with Minister of Foreign Affairs II of Brunei Darussalam Erywan Yusof on the afternoon of July 29. The two Ministers took note of the progress in COVID-19 responses by the Republic of Korea and Brunei Darussalam and discussed ways to support smooth travel of essential workforce as well as ways for ASEAN-ROK cooperation.
2. Minister Kang explained the developments in the spread of COVID-19 in the ROK and the epidemiological investigation method using information technology (IT). She went on to commend Brunei for swiftly and actively managing the COVID-19 situation through a disease prevention and control policy using IT.
° In response, Minister Erywan mentioned that the ROK government’s COVID-19 response efforts have been very effective, adding that, despite there being no newly infected cases in Brunei over the past two months, the country remains vigilant in preparation for a second wave.
3. The two Ministers shared the understanding that, in a situation where free travel across borders is difficult, it is important for countries to reinforce cooperation in supporting their overseas nationals’ return home and ensuring travel of essential workforce.
° Minister Kang said that, in this vein, the ROK government, together with the People’s Republic of China and the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam, is currently supporting travel of essential workforce, including business people. Minister Erywan responded that the government of Brunei Darussalam also recognizes the need for travel of essential workforce to the extent that does not undermine disease prevention and control efforts.
4. With regard to the ROK-Brunei relations, Minister Erywan extended appreciation over the fact that Temburong Bridge, which had opened in March 2020 after being constructed by a Korean company and others and connects eastern and western parts of Brunei, contributes to linking infrastructure in the country. Minister Kang responded by offering congratulations on the successful opening of Temburong Bridge, a symbol of the ROK-Brunei cooperation, even amid the COVID-19 situation.
5. Minister Erywan conveyed gratitude to President Moon Jae-in and the ROK government for their support for and contribution to collaboration on COVID-19 response in the region. In particular, he expressed deep appreciation to the ROK government for providing diagnostic kits and personal protective equipment, among others, to ASEAN countries, by using various resources, including the ASEAN-Korea Cooperation Fund, as well as for its plan to contribute 1 million U.S. dollars to the COVID-19 ASEAN Response Fund.
° Minister Kang mentioned that the ROK will continue to take part in the efforts in the region to contribute, enhance solidarity and collaborate over COVID-19.
6. The two Ministers agreed that, in the face of a pressing need for solidarity and collaboration of the international community in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important to join the COVID-19 Vaccine Global Access (COVAX) Facility aimed at the equitable distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine.
7. The two Ministers agreed to work closely together for successful ASEAN-related Foreign Ministers’ Meetings and Summits in 2020 and voiced hope to meet in person at the ASEAN-related Foreign Ministers’ Meetings scheduled for September, which will hopefully take place in a face-to-face format.
° Minister Kang commended Brunei for its great contribution to promoting close communication and cooperation between ASEAN and the ROK as the Country Coordinator for ASEAN-ROK Dialogue Relations and asked the country to play a role for the success of the ASEAN-related meetings in 2020.
° In response, Minister Erywan, saying that Brunei will
assume the chairmanship of ASEAN in 2021, voiced hope for continued close
cooperation with the ROK government in discussing and addressing various
regional issues in ASEAN.