1. The 2018 meeting of the heads of the Republic of Korea’s overseas diplomatic missions will take place from December 10 till 14 under the theme of “building a peaceful and prosperous Korean Peninsula together with the people,” bringing together 181 mission heads, including the Ambassadors and the Consuls-General.
2. At the forthcoming meeting, the mission heads will mainly discuss how they can conduct new frontier diplomacy; diplomacy for peace and shared prosperity on the Korean Peninsula; and diplomacy together with the people with the goal of implementing “people- and national interests-centered” diplomacy, a policy vision of the current government . They will also focus on stepping up communication with the public: To that end, they will hold dialogue with young Koreans seeking to build presence abroad and one-on-one meetings with entrepreneurs, and visit sites of new growth engine industries.
° In particular, in order to gather opinions and win broader support from the public through “two-way communication” with the public, various events to take place during the 2018 meeting of the mission heads will be joined by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ college student supporters and “journalists for diplomacy with the people.”
° At the event, Presidential Senior Secretary for Public Relations Yoon Young-chan will deliver a special lecture on “a new era, new communication,” and Chair of the Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission Pak Un-jong on “the direction of the ROK government’s anti-corruption policy.”
3. With regard to “new frontier diplomacy,” one of the three main topics of the 2018 meeting, the mission heads will discuss ways to implement the ROK government’s diplomatic diversification policies, including the New Southern and Northern Policies, as well as its key economic policies, including supporting those seeking jobs abroad.
° Cheong Wa Dae Senior Secretary for Economic Affairs Yoon Jong-won will deliver a lecture and hold a question-and-answer session with the mission heads, during which the participants will discuss in depth the role overseas missions should play in the ROK government’s efforts to achieve its vision of creating “an inclusive country where everyone is better off.”
° The group discussions will focus on ways to implement the New Southern and Northern Policies; support bids to seek jobs abroad; carry out diplomacy toward Latin America; respond to economic confrontations in the international community; and support bids to implement the new climate regime.
4. With respect to “diplomacy for peace and shared prosperity on the Korean Peninsula,” the mission heads will discuss what role the Foreign Ministry can and should play toward complete denuclearization and the establishment of permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula by building on the ROK government-led positive changes in the situation on the Peninsula over the past year, as well as what measures the Ministry should take to address each relevant issue.
° Director of the National Security Office of Cheong Wa Dae Chung Eui-yong will share with the mission heads the policy direction the ROK government will take to achieve denuclearization and build peace on the Korean Peninsula; and exchange views with them on the role of the overseas missions in that regard.
° The group discussions will cover ways to win cooperation from the international community in moving the inter-Korean relations forward; and diplomatic efforts to achieve complete denuclearization and establish a peace regime.
5. In terms of “diplomacy together with the people,” the mission heads will discuss how they can implement the policy designed for the better protection of overseas Koreans; as well as public diplomacy and “diplomacy together with the people” robustly and in a way that meets the people’s expectations toward the Foreign Ministry and the overseas missions, as well as their needs, in the era of “people-centered diplomacy.”
° The mission heads will review the current situation where, with an annual 26 million Koreans traveling abroad and the number of incidents and accidents involving overseas Koreans growing, the work to protect overseas Koreans is growing in importance; will explain government measures designed to better protect overseas Koreans, including running “the center for overseas safety” and “the consular call center” in a way that they can cooperate, expanding the personnel handling incidents and accidents, and carrying out promotional activities to raise safety awareness of Koreans; and will share relevant exemplary cases of overseas missions.
° The mission heads will also discuss public diplomacy strategies for communication with people of their host countries in order to enhance their understanding of and trust in the ROK; the importance of public diplomacy participated by the public; and ways to conduct “diplomacy together with the people,” one of the important diplomatic tasks of the incumbent government.
6. In the session on the Foreign Ministry innovation, Minister of the Interior and Safety Kim Boo-kyum will deliver a special lecture on “government innovation toward an inclusive nation.” The mission heads will also share the phase-2 innovation vision of the Foreign Ministry and discuss specific ways to achieve innovation and build diplomatic capabilities.
7. The 2018 meeting of the heads of the overseas diplomatic missions is expected to serve as a useful opportunity to help the mission heads better understand the philosophy for state governance and foreign policy direction of the Moon Jae-in government and to explore the new role of the meeting as a communication channel between the people and the government.
* unofficial translation