(PowerKorea) Minister of Foreign Affair Euiyong Chung attended the 24th ASEAN-ROK Foreign Ministers’ Meeting on August 3 in his capacity as co-chair. In the meeting, the participants reviewed the current situation of ROK-ASEAN cooperation under the New Southern Policy (NSP) and discussed ways to jointly overcome the pandemic and enhance future cooperation. They also exchanged in-depth views on regional and global issues including the situation on the Korean Peninsula.
Chung noted that the NSP has become a strong foundation of ROK-ASEAN cooperation, stressing that, in order to overcome the pandemic and create a better future with ASEAN, the ROK will continue its cooperation with ASEAN through the NSP.
The ASEAN side commended the ROK government for making consistent efforts to reinforce its cooperation with ASEAN under the NSP and the NSP Plus, and also expressed its full support towards the NSP. Both sides agreed to align the ROK's NSP and ASEAN's major initiatives and strategies including the "ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery Framework.”
The ASEAN side extended appreciation to the ROK government for contributing to the "COVID-19 ASEAN Response Fund" and providing medical supplies to support ASEAN’s efforts on COVID-19 response. ASEAN also highly appreciated the ROK government’s additional pledge of 200 million USD to the COVAX AMC to ensure equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines.
Both sides expressed their hope to seek stronger ROK-ASEAN cooperation on public health at the "ASEAN-ROK Health Ministers' Meeting" to be held later in the year.
Recognizing the importance of creating a favorable environment in the region for free trade and investment, the participants in the meeting agreed to make efforts for an early entry into force of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and a further liberalization of the ASEAN-ROK FTA.
Foreign Minister Chung emphasized the importance of cooperation on future industries in the post-COVID-19 era and expressed his hope that the "ASEAN-ROK ICT Convergence Village," which was established in Busan recently, would serve as a useful platform for digital contents cooperation based on 5G technology.
The participants in the Meeting also exchanged views on regional and global issues including the situations on the Korean Peninsula and in Myanmar as well as the South China Sea issue.
On the Korean Peninsula issue, Chung explained the recent developments on the Korean Peninsula including the restoration of inter-Korean communication lines. He also called on the ASEAN member states to continue to play a constructive role in making substantial progress toward the complete denuclearization and establishment of permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula through diplomacy and dialogue. The ASEAN countries welcomed the restoration of the inter-Korean communication lines and expressed their support for inter-Korean dialogue, engagement and cooperation. They also showed their commitment to working together for an early resumption of dialogue based on the previous inter-Korean and U.S.-DPRK agreements.
On Myanmar, Chung called for the restoration of democracy and an immediate release of political prisoners and expressed the ROK's support for the ASEAN's constructive role in resolving the current situation in Myanmar. He also stressed that the five-point consensus agreed upon at the ASEAN Leaders' Meeting held in April should be implemented without delay and mentioned that the ROK government will also continue to seek ways for contribution, including providing humanitarian assistance to people of Myanmar.
With regard to the South China Sea issue, Chung emphasized that maintaining peace and stability is a matter of great importance for all of the countries, and stressed that international law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of Sea (UNCLOS), should be respected and that freedom of navigation in and overflight above the South China Sea must be guaranteed.
The two sides agreed to further enhance their cooperation for the success of the ASEAN-related Summits to be held in October. In particular, the participants agreed to work together for the upcoming ASEAN-ROK Summit to adopt a joint statement specifying the achievements in NSP cooperation and reaffirming the leaders' commitment to future cooperation.
Outcome of Korea-Chile Foreign Ministers’ Meeting
Minister of Foreign Affairs Euiyong Chung met with Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Chile Andrés Allamand, who is on a visit to the Republic of Korea, on July 21 and exchanged views on issues of mutual interest, including Korea-Chile relations, negotiations to upgrade the Korea-Chile FTA, Korea’s accession to the Pacific Alliance (PA) as its associated member, and green hydrogen and digital cooperation.
Chung noted with appreciation that Chile was Korea’s first FTA partner and the two countries have seen remarkable achievement in strengthening bilateral relations and upholding universal values such as democracy and human rights based on close communication between their two leaders, including Chilean President Sebastián Piñera’s state visit to Korea in April 2019 and the telephone conversation between the two presidents in October last year.
Allamand mentioned that he made a visit exclusively to Korea despite the COVID-19 situation to strengthen cooperation with Korea and voiced hope to enhance mutual understanding and increase people-to-people exchanges including high-level exchanges on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations next year.
Chung noted with satisfaction that bilateral trade and investment have expanded, with a nearly threefold increase in the total trade volume (from $1.57 billion in 2003 to $4.39 billion in 2020) since the Korea-Chile FTA came into effect in 2004, and requested the Chilean government’s cooperation for Korea’s accession to the PA as an associated member.
Allamand welcomed that Korea has become Chile’s key trading partner thanks to the Korea-Chile FTA and requested Korea’s cooperation for the negotiations on upgrading the Korea-Chile FTA to meet the changed international economic environment. Allamand also reaffirmed the support of the Chilean government for Korea’s accession to the PA as an associated member.
Allamand also mentioned that regarding Korea’s accession to the PA as an associated member, Chile would consult with other members as former chairing country so that accession negotiations could begin as early as next year.
The two ministers agreed to strengthen substantive cooperation in diverse areas such as climate change, green hydrogen economy, infrastructure, digital economy, and Antarctic cooperation. In particular, they agreed to further increase cooperation to create links between Korea’s Green and Digital New Deal and Chile’s Green Recovery and Digital Transformation, taking advantage of potential for cooperation that can be pursued under the two initiatives.
Allamand explained that the Chilean government is working to implement a green hydrogen economy based on Chile’s abundant renewable energy including solar and wind power and stated the need to create synergy with Korea’s outstanding technology such as hydrogen cars and hydrogen fuel cell.
Chung explained the current situation on the Korean Peninsula and requested the Chilean government’s support for the Korean government’s efforts to establish permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula. Chung also stated Korea’s willingness to expand cooperation with Latin American and Caribbean countries that has been shown through a series of summits, including the latest Korea-U.S. summit on May 21, the Korea-Spain summit on June 16, and the Korea-SICA summit on June 25.
Allamand reaffirmed the will of the Chilean government to support the Korean Peninsula peace process. Allamand also explained the difficult political and economic situation in the Latin American and Caribbean region under the COVID-19 circumstances and appreciated Korea’s contribution to regional stability. Source: South Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs
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