1. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will hold a series of diplomatic events to put the New Southern Policy into full gear ahead of the ASEAN-related Foreign Ministers’ meetings to be held in Singapore in early August.
o Diplomatic events to be held include a dinner hosted by Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha for SOM leaders from ten ASEAN member states at the Minister’s official residence; the 22nd ROK-ASEAN Dialogue; a visit to the ROK by the Committee of Permanent Representatives; and Minister Kang’s visit to Thailand.
2. First, Foreign Minister Kang hosted a welcome dinner at the Minister’s official residence on June 20 for SOM leaders from ten ASEAN member states and the ASEAN Deputy Secretary-General, who will attend the 22nd ROK-ASEAN Dialogue.
o In her remarks at the dinner, Minister Kang reaffirmed the ROK government’s strong commitment to elevating the ROK-ASEAN relations to a higher level, and asked for active cooperation from ASEAN in implementing the New Southern Policy.
o Minister Kang also stressed that peace and stability in Northeast Asia are inseparable from peace in Southeast Asia, and asked for ASEAN’s continued support and close cooperation regarding efforts to completely denuclearize the Korean Peninsula and to establish lasting peace on the Peninsula.
3. On June 21, the 22nd ROK-ASEAN Dialogue will take place at the Shilla Hotel in Seoul. The meeting is a high-level consultative forum between the ROK and ASEAN that has been held every year since 1993. In the upcoming Dialogue, the two sides will review their cooperative relations in a range of areas, including political, security, economic, social and cultural affairs, and discuss ways to work together going forward.
o From the ROK side, Deputy Minister for Political Affairs Yoon Soon-gu will attend the meeting as head of the ROK delegation. Participants from the ASEAN side include vice minister- and deputy minister-level officials from ten ASEAN member states, including Under-Secretary of State Kan Pharidh of Cambodia, the country coordinator for ROK-ASEAN dialogue relations, as well as the Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN for Political-Security Community.
o In particular, the forthcoming dialogue holds big significance, as it will become the first opportunity for SOM leaders from the ROK and ASEAN to gather together to discuss concrete ways to implement the New Southern Policy since the policy was announced in November last year.
o Furthermore, they will share their assessments of the recent progress in the situation on the Korean Peninsula, including the results of the inter-Korean and US-North Korea summits, and discuss ASEAN’s roles and ways to make contributions in efforts to completely denuclearize the Korean Peninsula, and to establish a lasting peace on the Peninsula.
4. Meanwhile, the Committee of Permanent Representatives, consisting of ambassadors from the permanent missions of ten ASEAN member states in Indonesia, will begin their visit to the ROK on June 24 at the invitation of the ROK government. They will visit a range of domestic organizations related to the New Southern Policy, and discuss ways to increase substantive cooperation in the three priority areas of people, prosperity, and peace.
o From June 24 to 29, the members of the Committee will pay courtesy calls on the Foreign Minister and the Minister of Unification; hold meetings with representatives from the Korea-ASEAN Forum of the National Assembly, and students at Busan University of Foreign Studies; visit the ASEAN-Korea Centre, the ASEAN Culture House, and the Secretariat of the Asian Forest Cooperation Organization (AFoCO); and visit the Global Institute for Transferring Skills, the Busan Film Commission, and the Demilitarized Zone. Their visit to the ROK is expected to help the ASEAN side better understand the New Southern Policy, and to serve as an opportunity to explore concrete cooperation projects to put the Policy into full gear.
5. In addition, Minister Kang will visit Thailand, the chair of ASEAN in 2019, in early July, and discuss ways to continue to implement the New Southern Policy. At the ROK-ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ meeting to be held in August, Minister Kang will officially announce ASEAN’s support for key projects to be conducted under the New Southern Policy.
* unofficial translation