1. On June 1st, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Lee Dohoon attended the 18th Jeju Forum, sponsored by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and gave a keynote speech at the “Expanding Global Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific” session on the focus of the Korean government’s efforts for global cooperation through the Indo-Pacific Strategy and on global cooperation based on needs and demands of the Indo-Pacific.
2. Vice Minister Lee said that with its increasing strategic importance, the Indo-Pacific is becoming an arena for global competition and cooperation. He also explained that the Republic of Korea, an Indo-Pacific country, has unveiled its “Strategy for a Free, Peaceful, and Prosperous Indo-Pacific,” realizing that Korea’s strides forward beyond its achievement of democracy and economic growth depend on the stability and prosperity of the region.
3. Regarding the focus of cooperation through the Indo-Pacific Strategy, Vice Minister Lee emphasized the Korean government’s commitment to lead the global and regional cooperation. He highlighted four areas: enhancing science and technology cooperation and helping to close the digital gap in the region; supporting the region’s climate change response and energy security; enhancing development cooperation partnership; and strengthening non-proliferation and counter-terrorism efforts across the region.
Especially, he strongly condemned North Korea’s recent launch of a long-range ballistic missile under the pretext of a so-called ‘satellite.’ He made it clear that it constitutes a violation of multiple UN Security Council resolutions, and emphasized that the Korean government will work closely together with the countries in the Indo-Pacific and the international community for the denuclearization of North Korea.
4. In addition, Vice Minister Lee stressed that the factor which matters most in expanding the global cooperation in the Indo-Pacific is what the countries in the region want and that the Korean government is ready to listen to the “Indo-Pacific voice.”
5. Meanwhile, the Ambassadors of the EU, Indonesia and India joined the session on “Expanding Global Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific” as discussants. They agreed on the significance of the region and shared their countries’ or regions’ respective visions and cooperation programs for the Indo-Pacific. All participants emphasized the importance of the principle of inclusiveness in the Indo-Pacific, and urged more dialogue to understand the needs and demands of the partners in the region.
* Moderator: Chang Eun Ha, Research Fellow at Korean Women’s Development Institute (KWDI)
* Discussants: Maria CASTILLO FERNANDEZ, Ambassador of the European Union to the ROK; Gandi Sulistiyanto SOEHERMAN, Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia to the ROK; Amit KUMAR, Ambassador of the Republic of India to the ROK; and PARK Jiyoun, Associate Professor at Jeonbuk National University