- Welcome to The Mission of the Republic of Korea to ASEAN!
The Mission of the Republic of Korea to ASEAN was established in Jakarta, where the ASEAN Secretariat is located, in October 2012. The Mission is responsible for advancing ASEAN-Korea relations and deepening their cooperation.
ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) was founded on 8 August 1967 as five founding fathers from Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand signed the historic Bangkok Declaration. From the 1970s until the late 1990s, new members of ASEAN namely, Brunei Darussalam, Vietnam, Myanmar, Lao PDR and Cambodia joined the regional league. As of today, ASEAN consists of 10 member states.
For the last 5 decades, the region has evolved the three main pillars, Political Security, Economic and Socio-cultural communities, focusing on consolidating the unity among the member states. ASEAN has consolidated the untied stance on issues such as conflicts in the region, financial crisis, disaster management, and climate change. In doing so, ASEAN has explored solutions to tackle the issues proactively.
The Republic of Korea tied a knot with ASEAN back in 1989 as a sectoral dialogue partner. Since then, ASEAN-Korea has cooperated with each other in multidimensional areas encompassing the three pillars of ASEAN Community. In particular, the ASEAN-Korea Free Trade Agreement (AKFTA) was signed in 2009. The ASEAN-Korea relation was elevated to a Strategic Partnership in 2010.
As of 2019, ASEAN is now Korea's second largest trading partner and FDI destination. For ASEAN, Korea is the fifth largest trading partner. In 2018, people-to-people exchange was recorded 10 million between Korea and ASEAN.
President Moon Jae-in unveiled the New Southern Policy in 2017 during his state visit to Indonesia. The New Southern Policy aims to uplift the relations between ASEAN and Korea under the 3Ps namely, People, Prosperity, and Peace.
This policy is a very meaningful gesture of Korean Diplomacy. Korea has focused its diplomatic attention mostly on major 4 namely, the U.S. China, Japan and Russia, member countries for the six-party talks. With the New Southern Policy, Korea has diversified its diplomatic attention and endeavours on ASEAN and the countries in the Southern hemisphere where a full of potentials for the economic prosperity to be unlocked.
Korea and ASEAN leaders also agreed to hold the 2019 ASEAN-Korea Commemorative Summit in Busan, in November, in order to celebrate the 30th anniversary of their dialogue partnership. This is a milestone occasion that would help ASEAN-Korea diplomatic and economic relations become stronger.
The Mission together with ASEAN, a new growth engine of the global economy and the core partner of the New Southern Policy, will strive to further and deepen endeavours to achieve 'a people-centred community of peace and prosperity.'
I hope you will find this website very useful for understanding ASEAN-Korea relations better.
Lim Sungnam, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Korea to ASEAN