1. Mr. Chung Keeyong, Director-General for Climate Change, Energy, Environment and Scientific Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Mr. Woo Dongsik, Director-General of the Overseas Fisheries and International Policy Bureau of the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries, had a meeting on oceans and environment with Mr. Evan T. Bloom, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and Fisheries of the United States (U.S.), at the headquarters of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the morning of January 16. The two sides exchanged views on overall issues, including marine debris; illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing; and the conservation of marine environment.
2. The two sides introduced the two countries’ respective efforts to reduce marine debris and discussed the possibility of holding the 7th International Marine Debris Conference, the largest international conference on the issue, in the Republic of Korea (ROK) around September 2022, thereby taking the opportunity to share the two countries’ strong commitment to reducing marine debris.
° The ROK side asked for the cooperation of the U.S. Department of State so that swift progress could be made on the Preliminary Positive Certification Determination procedure for the final certification determination.
° The delegations of the two countries also exchanged views on various issues regarding the conservation of marine environment, including the treated waste water at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station as well as oceans and climate change.
3. After the aforementioned meeting on oceans and environment, Mr. Kwon Sei-joong, Ambassador for Arctic Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, had a working luncheon with Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary Bloom, during which the two sides shared the two countries’ respective Arctic policies and discussed in depth ways to step up Arctic cooperation between the ROK and the U.S.
° The two sides explained the two countries’ respective operation structures for the polar region (Arctic and Antarctic) related affairs and exchanged views on holding ROK-U.S. bilateral Arctic consultations to discuss ways for comprehensive cooperation, including the Arctic Council, scientific research on the Arctic, and the Northern Sea Route.