- Ministry News
Foreign Minister Chung Participates in ASEAN Plus Three Foreign Ministers’ Meeting
1. Minister of Foreign Affairs Chung Eui-yong, along with the Foreign Ministers of the ten ASEAN member countries, China and Japan, participated in the ASEAN Plus Three (APT) Foreign Ministers’ Meeting held at 17:00-19:00, August 3, in a virtual format. During the Meeting, the participants discussed such matters as joint efforts in response to COVID-19 and ways for economic recovery, and exchanged views on regional issues including those regarding the Korean Peninsula and Myanmar.
2. Foreign Minister Chung stressed that the APT countries need concerted efforts among them in order to strengthen joint response and build a more resilient public health system in the region in the midst of the emergence of COVID-19 variants.
ㅇ In particular, Foreign Minister Chung expressed the will to continue participating in ongoing discussions on the idea of reserving essential medical supplies at the APT level. He added that, in order to secure a sufficient supply of vaccines and guarantee their equitable access to all, the ROK government plans to contribute an additional 200 million U.S. dollars to the COVAX AMC and is joining in international efforts by serving as a global vaccine hub.
ㅇ ASEAN appreciated that the Three countries preemptively contributed to the “COVID-19 ASEAN Response Fund,” and mentioned that it will procure vaccines by utilizing the Fund. In addition, it suggested that the APT continue vaccine cooperation in the region down the road.
3. The participating countries shared the view that they need to ensure a freer and more open environment for trade and investment to overcome the economic crisis posed by COVID-19. To this end, the participants agreed to continue to accelerate their efforts toward an early entry into force of the RCEP. They also expected that the amendment to the Chiang Mai Initiative Multilateralisation Agreement will provide a stronger financial safety net within the region.
4. Foreign Minister Chung stressed that, despite positive signs of economic recovery around the world, the APT should keep a close eye on the uneven scale and pace of economic recovery and achieve a strong and inclusive recovery within the region.
ㅇ In particular, Foreign Minister Chung emphasized that it is necessary to assist micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) with their digital transformation and that the ROK will continue to support MSMEs on digital transformation in cooperation with ASEAN.
5. The participants exchanged their opinions on regional affairs, including those regarding the Korean Peninsula and Myanmar.
ㅇ On the Korean Peninsula issue, Foreign Minister Chung emphasized that diplomacy and dialogue based on the previous inter-Korean and U.S.-DPRK agreements are essential to making substantial progress toward complete denuclearization and the establishment of permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula. He also called for the APT countries’ continued support for the ROK government’s efforts to further advance the peace process on the Korean Peninsula by building upon the recent restoration of inter-Korean communication lines.
6. On Myanmar, Foreign Minister Chung called for the restoration of democracy and an immediate release of political prisoners. He also stressed that the five-point consensus agreed upon at the ASEAN Leaders' Meeting held in April should be implemented without further delay. He added that the ROK government will continue to seek ways to contribute to resolving the current situation in Myanmar, including providing humanitarian assistance to people of Myanmar.
7. The ROK government will continue to contribute to the APT’s joint efforts to overcome COVID-19 by utilizing institutionalized cooperative mechanisms, and cooperate in building a peaceful, safe and prosperous region.