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KOR

Press Releases

Minister of Foreign Affairs Park Jin Discusses Ways to Deepen and Expand ASEAN-Korea Partnership with ASEAN Secretary-General

Date
2023-06-20
hit
6122

1. On June 16, Minister of Foreign Affairs Park Jin held a luncheon meeting with Dr. Kao Kim Hourn, Secretary-General of ASEAN who is on a visit to Korea. The two sides exchanged views on ▲the implementation of Korea’s Strategy for a Free, Peaceful and Prosperous Indo-Pacific Region and Korea-ASEAN Solidarity Initiative (KASI), ▲ways to advance ASEAN-Korea substantive cooperation, and ▲preparations for ASEAN-related Foreign Ministers' Meetings in July and Summit in September. The ASEAN Committee in Seoul (ACS), composed of the Ambassadors of the ASEAN Member States to Korea, and the Ambassador of Timor-Leste to Korea also attended the luncheon meeting. 


※ Dr. Kao Kim Hourn was inaugurated as Secretary-General of ASEAN in January this year and visited Korea on June 15-18 for the first time since taking office at the invitation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs


2. Foreign Minister Park welcomed Dr. Kao's appointment and first visit to Korea as Secretary-General and said that he looked forward to the Secretary-General’s leadership in further advancing ASEAN and strengthening its role as the center of regional peace and stability amid the ongoing regional and global geopolitical conflicts and reshuffling of supply chains. 


3. Foreign Minister Park noted that Korea and ASEAN have developed into indispensable partners since the establishment of dialogue relations in 1989. He stressed that the current Korean government, like all its predecessors, will consistently deepen and advance its partnership with ASEAN as its core partner in promoting freedom, peace and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region. Secretary-General Kao responded that given Korea’s strengths across the board including the political, economic and social areas, both the region and the global community expect Korea to play a greater role and, in this connection, appreciated both Korea’s commitment and demonstration of this commitment through its Indo-Pacific Strategy. 


※ ASEAN is Korea’s ▲second-largest trading partner (about USD 200 billion in bilateral trade in 2022) and second-largest investment destination, ▲largest recipient of official development assistance (ODA) (about USD 600 million in 2021 -- 25% of Korea’s total bilateral ODA), and ▲most popular travel destination (about 10 million Korean travelers before COVID-19 in 2019).


4. Foreign Minister Park emphasized that the Korean government had announced KASI as a regional policy tailored to ASEAN to further advance the mutually beneficial and future-oriented partnership with the bloc. The Foreign Minister went on to say that Korea will promote comprehensive cooperation including that on the vision of all three ASEAN Communities -- Political-security Community, Economic Community and Social-cultural Community -- and proposed pursuing collaboration on and synergies from a nexus among the Indo-Pacific Strategy, KASI and the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific (AOIP) towards a free, peaceful and prosperous Indo-Pacific region.


※ KASI’s 8 core lines of effort : ①Upgrade the ASEAN-Korea partnership and strengthen bilateral relations with ASEAN Member States ②Enhance ASEAN-Korea cooperation within ASEAN-led mechanisms ③Expand ASEAN-Korea comprehensive security cooperation ④Promote ASEAN-Korea strategic coordination ⑤Expand cooperation in future-oriented and emerging areas for shared prosperity and development ⑥Jointly address and respond to regional and global challenges ⑦Promote future-generation exchanges as drivers of future prosperity ⑧Increase ASEAN-Korea cooperation resources including the doubling of the three ASEAN-related Cooperation Funds.


※ ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific (AOIP) : ASEAN's principles of cooperation and focus areas (maritime affairs, connectivity, SDGs, economy, etc.) for the Indo-Pacific region adopted in June 2019


5. Secretary-General Kao welcomed the Korean government's KASI, in which concrete ways for cooperation through a balance between Korea's strengths and ASEAN's needs are set forth, and said that ASEAN will actively cooperate with Korea in implementing KASI and Korea’s Indo-Pacific Strategy. 


6. Foreign Minister Park proposed the establishment of a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership (CSP) to mark the beginning of a new era in ASEAN-Korea relations on the occasion of the 35th anniversary of the ASEAN-Korea dialogue partnership in 2024. Secretary-General Kao responded by saying that ASEAN is also looking forward to taking to the next level its partnership with Korea, its key dialogue partner, and agreed to work closely together in the process of establishing the CSP.


※ Comprehensive Strategic Partnership (CSP) is the highest level of partnership between ASEAN and its dialogue partners. ASEAN established CSPs with China and Australia in 2021, and the U.S. and India in 2022.


7. Foreign Minister Park also took the occasion to iterate that it was imperative for ASEAN to send a firm message to North Korea over its continued nuclear and missile provocations including its unprecedentedly frequent missile tests, in clear violation of UN Security Council resolutions, and called for ASEAN's continued support for Korea's North Korea policy, including the Audacious Initiative. 


8. In addition, Foreign Minister Park introduced the ongoing government-wide and public-private joint efforts on Busan’s bid to host the 2030 World Expo and requested strong interest and support of ASEAN Member States. The Secretary-General and the Ambassadors all wished for Busan’s success in the bid. 


※ Secretary-General Kao is scheduled to visit the World Expo site in Busan on June 17 as part of his official itinerary.