- Press Releases
East Asia Summit (EAS) Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM) Discusses Current Regional Issues, and Ways to Enhance Peace and Prosperity
1. The East Asia Summit (EAS) Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM) was held at 20:00-22:00 (KST), June 24th, in a virtual format. Deputy Minister for Political Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Kim Gunn attended as head of the Republic of Korea’s delegation. During today’s meeting, participants discussed ways to better cooperate for regional peace and prosperity, and recent regional and international developments.
※ The EAS, which started in 2005, is the premier strategic forum that covers political and security-related issues in the region participated by the leaders of major countries in the region. It is comprised of the ten member states of ASEAN, the Republic of Korea, China, Japan, the U.S., Russia, Australia, New Zealand and India.
2. Deputy Minister Kim also highlighted the growing interests and engagements in the region. He expressed the Korean government’s commitment to further contribute to regional peace and stability, as it pursues harmonious cooperation between the New Southern Policy and other various initiatives, based on the principles such as openness, inclusiveness and ASEAN centrality.
3. A number of countries commented regarding the situation on the Korean Peninsula as one of the pressing issues in the region. Deputy Minister Kim explained that the ROK-U.S. Summit in May laid a meaningful diplomatic foundation for resuming dialogue with the DPRK. He asked the EAS members to send a constant and concerted message in order to make progress in the Korean Peninsula peace process through dialogue and diplomacy.
4. The EAS members, including the ROK, recalled the central role of the EAS as an effective mechanism to achieve regional peace and stability, in the dynamic political landscape of East Asia. Participants exchanged views on recent regional developments, including Myanmar and the South China Sea.
o With regard to the Myanmar crisis, Deputy Minister Kim explained that the ROK has called for the immediate cessation to violence, the release of those who are detained, and the restoration of democracy. He also stressed that the Korean government supports ASEAN’s constructive role in resolving the situation in Myanmar.
o On the South China Sea, Deputy Minister Kim stressed the ROK’s consistent position, such as maintaining peace and stability in the South China Sea, a major international sea lane, and supporting rules-based maritime order that includes the freedom of navigation and overflight in the Sea.
o Regarding the Mekong region, Deputy Minister Kim said that joint efforts are needed for self-sustainable and inclusive growth in the region. He introduced the Korean government’s engagements and cooperation with the region.
5. In addition, participants acknowledged that joint efforts among the EAS members should be elevated, so that the EAS, as a regional premier forum, could effectively contribute to pursuing strategies, such as green recovery, for a better future after COVID-19.
6. The EAS Senior Officials’ Meeting is an important venue that helps comprehend the views and positions of participating countries on regional issues. Based on today’s discussion, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will continue to make efforts to proactively participate in the EAS discussions, in order to contribute to achieving peace and stability in the region in the upcoming Foreign Ministers’ Meeting and Summit later this year.