- The ROK and ASEAN’s senior
officials discuss ways to deepen and expand cooperation under the New Southern
1. A ROK-ASEAN Dialogue* was held at 10:00-12:40 (KST), July 6,
in a virtual format. Deputy Minister for Political Affairs of the Ministry of
Foreign Affairs Yeo Seung-bae co-chaired the meeting with Emaleen Abdul Rahman
Teo, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Brunei
The ROK-ASEAN Dialogue is an annual dialogue attended by senior officials (vice/deputy
ministers of foreign affairs) of the ROK and the ten ASEAN member states. Due
to COVID-19, the Dialogue was held in a virtual format.
2. ASEAN participants appreciated the continuous development of the
ROK-ASEAN relationship even amid the COVID-19 crisis last year. In particular, they
noted that the New Southern Policy has contributed significantly to ASEAN’s
efforts to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, the participants agreed
to further strengthen bilateral cooperation by coordinating the New Southern
Policy and ASEAN’s major policies such as the ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery
※ The ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery Framework is ASEAN’s strategy to
overcome the COVID-19 crisis.
3. Deputy Minister Yeo explained that the ROK government is actively
pursuing substantial cooperation with a focus on the seven initiatives of the
New Southern Policy Plus in order to overcome COVID-19 and prepare for the post-COVID-19
era with ASEAN.
The seven initiatives of the New Southern Policy Plus : People (①public health
②education ③cultural exchange),
and investment ⑤infrastructure development ⑥future industries), Peace (⑦cooperation on non-traditional security)
With regard to “People,” the
Deputy Minister appreciated continued communication between the two sides through
creative means such as information technology despite the constraints posed by
COVID-19. He proposed expanding youth exchange programs, as closer mutual
understanding between next generations of the two sides will be a foundation
for future cooperation between the ROK and ASEAN.
On “Prosperity,” Deputy
Minister Yeo hoped that the two sides would bring the RCEP into force as soon
as possible, while also seeking additional liberalization of the ROK-ASEAN FTA in
order to build a multilateral economic system that is sustainable,
environmentally friendly and resilient after COVID-19. He also said that bilateral
cooperation will be expanded to the financial sector with the opening of the “Finance
Cooperation Center” this year.
On “Peace,” Deputy
Minister Yeo emphasized that it is important to strengthen cooperation with
ASEAN in cybersecurity, climate change and disaster management as COVID-19
calls for closer cooperation in the field of non-traditional security for the
vulnerable. In addition, he asked for ASEAN member countries’ attention to and
support for the ROK’s bid to host COP28 in 2023, so that the ROK can contribute
to strengthening international cooperation in the implementation of the Paris
4. The participants agreed that joint efforts between the ROK
and ASEAN should be elevated to maintain and promote regional peace in the face
of the increasingly complex regional and global situations.
The ROK took note of the
importance of the ASEAN-led mechanisms in maintaining inclusive and open
multilateralism in the region, and expressed its commitment to further advancing
regional cooperation based on the shared principles of openness, inclusiveness,
transparency and rules-based order.
Regarding the Korean
Peninsula, Deputy Minister Yeo extended appreciation to ASEAN for its support
for the ROK government’s efforts toward the complete denuclearization and the
establishment of permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula. He also asked that ASEAN
send a consistent message to urge peaceful resolution of the situation through an
early resumption of dialogue. The senior leaders of ASEAN reaffirmed their full
support for the Peace Process on the Korean Peninsula.
On the South China Sea, the
ROK expressed its consistent position, calling for peace and stability as well
as the freedom of navigation in and overflight above the South China Sea. The
ROK also conveyed its commitment to efforts for the restoration of democracy,
peace and stability in Myanmar.
5. Building on the outcome of today’s discussion, the senior officials
will continue to communicate for the success of the upcoming ASEAN-related
meetings including the Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in August and the Summit in