PSNews - ASEAN and Republic of Korea (RoK) all affirmed the importance of the ASEAN-RoK Strategic Partnership for development of each side and peace, stability, prosperity and connection in East Asia.
The statement was made at the 21st ASEAN- RoK Dialogue held in Cambodia’s Siem Reap province on June 22-23.
The dialogue aimed to discuss issues on cooperation between the two sides and preparations for the ASEAN-RoK Ministers Meeting in August 2017 and the 19th ASEAN-RoK Summit in November 2017.
|Delegates at the event.
RoK Deputy Foreign Minister Lee Jeong-kyu, head of the RoK Senior Officials Meeting’s (SOM) delegation, said that the new Korean administration will continue to attach importance to ASEAN and support the group in promoting its central role in regional cooperation and connectivity in the area.
With the establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community in the end of 2015 and its high economic growth rate in recent years, ASEAN has become the RoK’s second largest trading partner.
Through frameworks such as the ASEAN-Korea Free Trade Area (AFFTA) and the 2016-2020 Action Plan, the two sides are striving to achieve a target of 200 billion USD of two-way trade value by 2020.
The RoK also pledged to continue participating in and making active contributions to major ASEAN-led forums, namely the East-Asia Summit (EAS), the ASEAN Regional Forum, the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus (ADMM+) and the Expanded ASEAN Maritime Forum (EAMF).
Meanwhile, ASEAN members expressed their hope that the RoK would continue expanding their investment and business in the ASEAN market, supporting the development of micro- small- and medium- side enterprises (MSMEs). In addition, the two sides also discussed measures to promote cultural exchanges, tourism and education between ASEAN and the RoK.
The two sides exchanged viewpoints on regional hot issues and non-traditional security challenges, tension on the Korean Peninsula and the East Sea issue (South China Sea). They all urged that the parties concerned should seek peaceful solutions through negotiation and cooperation.
The two sides pledged to continue cooperation in fighting terrorism, transnational crime, human trafficking, drug smuggling and network security. In order to strengthen cooperation in coping with natural disasters and epidemics, the RoK’s side promised to support the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance (AHA) in enhancing its capacity and carrying out projects.
Speaking at the dialogue, Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Nguyen Quoc Dung, head of ASEAN SOM Vietnam, affirmed that Vietnam and other ASEAN nations always want to promote multifaceted cooperation with the RoK, which is not only a strategic partner of the bloc but also one of the strong member economies of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and Group 20 (G20) with its important role and voice in regional and global issues.
He suggested that the two sides should soon complete the ASEAN-Korea Air Transport Agreement to further facilitate investment, tourism and people-to-people exchange activities.
Regarding the East Sea issue, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Nguyen Quoc Dung reiterated Vietnam's stance on some regional issues and expressed hope that countries, including the RoK, continue supporting peaceful settlement of any disputes while respecting international law, particularly the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, legal and diplomatic processes, practical progresses in implementing the Declaration of Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) and promoting the building of a Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC).By Phung Nguyen