- Ministry News
11th EAS Foreign Ministers’ Meeting
1. Minister of Foreign Affairs Chung Eui-yong participated in the 11th East Asia Summit (EAS) Foreign Ministers’ Meeting that was held via video conference at 20:00-22:30, August 4. With his counterparts from the ten ASEAN countries and major countries including the United States, China and Japan, Foreign Minister Chung discussed ways of cooperation for COVID-19 response and economic recovery and shared perspectives on regional and global affairs.
2. Foreign Minister Chung took note that the EAS has provided a foundation for cooperation among East Asian countries in the face of complex challenges, and emphasized the need to strengthen cooperation within the EAS framework to successfully overcome present challenges, in particular COVID-19 and climate change.
3. Foreign Minister Chung appreciated that the EAS has successfully dealt with the COVID-19 pandemic from its early stages based on the spirit of solidarity and cooperation, and stressed the need to step up collective efforts to achieve safety for all, amid the continuing global public health emergency due to the spread of COVID-19 variants.
° Foreign Minister Chung underlined the importance of ensuring fair and equitable access to vaccines and expressed the will to strengthen multilateral cooperation for equitable distribution of vaccines including by contributing to the COVAX AMC.
° Moreover, Foreign Minister Chung emphasized the need to expand the production and supply of vaccines and explained that the ROK government will work to become a global vaccine hub that provides affordable vaccines to all countries.
4. Foreign Minister Chung underscored the need for international cooperation in response to climate change as well as the importance of pursuing sustainable green recovery in order to “build back better and greener” in the post-COVID-19 era.
° Foreign Minister Chung explained that the ROK government will actively join the international community’s efforts to overcome the challenge of climate change, including through its bid to host COP28 in 2023.
5. Foreign Minister Chung expressed the ROK government’s will to contribute to regional peace and prosperity by exploring coordinated cooperation between the New Southern Policy and various regional initiatives, amid the expanding interest in and engagement with the Indo-Pacific region which includes ASEAN, due to the growing geopolitical, economic and strategic importance of the region.
6. Participants shared perspectives on regional affairs, including those regarding the Korean Peninsula, Myanmar and the South China Sea.
° Regarding the Korean Peninsula, Foreign Minister Chung explained the recent developments on the Korean Peninsula such as the restoration of inter-Korean communication lines, and emphasized the importance of diplomacy and dialogue as discussed in the ROK-U.S Summit last May. He highlighted that the ROK government will continue to work closely together with the international community, including the U.S., to resume dialogue, and called for the EAS countries’ continued support in this regard.
- The Ministers from the other countries noted the importance of dialogue for achieving lasting peace and a denuclearized Korean Peninsula.
° On Myanmar, Foreign Minister Chung called for an immediate release of those detained and the restoration of democracy in Myanmar and reiterated the ROK’s support for ASEAN’s constructive role in resolving the situation. Furthermore, he underlined that the five-point consensus, reached at the ASEAN Leaders’ Meeting in April, should be implemented without delay, and welcomed the appointment of Minister of Foreign Affairs II of Brunei Darussalam Erywan Yusof as Special Envoy of the ASEAN Chair on Myanmar. Foreign Minister Chung also mentioned that the ROK government will continue to lend its support to this end, including through humanitarian assistance.
° On the South China Sea, Foreign Minister Chung reiterated that maintaining peace and stability in the South China Sea is vital for all countries in the region, and stressed that relevant international law, including the UNCLOS, should be respected and freedom of navigation and overflight should be guaranteed. In addition, he looked forward to progress in negotiations on the Code of Conduct, which is a step towards a peaceful settlement of disputes in the region.