ASEAN, Korea Review Bilateral Relations

Pusan – The 18th ASEAN-Republic of Korea (ROK) Dialogue was convened on 18-19 June in Pusan, the ROK.  The meeting reviewed ASEAN-ROK relations and discussed its future direction, including follow-up to the outcomes of the 16th ASEAN-ROK Summit on 9 October 2013 in Bandar Seri Begawan, particularly on the major initiatives such as further liberalization and improvement of the ASEAN-Korea Free Trade Agreement and enhancing ASEAN-ROK cooperation in connectivity.

Furthermore, the Meeting discussed ways to enhance effective implementation of the ASEAN-ROK Plan of Action 2011-2015 as well as to prepare for a successor Plan of Action for the post-2015 period.

The Meeting discussed preparation for the ASEAN-ROK Commemorative Summit to be held in December 2014 in ROK to mark the 25th Anniversary of the ASEAN-ROK relations. The Commemorative Summit with its slogan “Building Trust, Bringing Happiness” will be an important event to review ASEAN-ROK relations and chart out direction for ASEAN-ROK cooperation in political-security, economic, and social-cultural areas, as well as on major global issues. Tangible outcomes of the Commemorative Summit would include, among others, the issuance of a Joint Statement and a Vision Statement on the ASEAN-ROK relations in the next 25 years.

The Senior Officials exchanged views on East Asian cooperation. The ROK reaffirmed its support for ASEAN’s central role in regional frameworks such as the ASEAN Plus Three (ASEAN+3), East Asia Summit (EAS), ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting-Plus (ADMM-Plus), and in promoting East Asian cooperation toward the establishment of an East Asian community.

The two sides also discussed recent developments in their respective regions as well as on security-related issues such as maritime security and non-traditional security challenges. In addition, the Meeting exchanged views on regional and international issues of common interest and concern, including food and energy security, climate change, disaster and water management, maritime search and rescue, counter-terrorism and transnational crimes, with a view to enhancing ASEAN-ROK cooperation in these areas in pursuit of shared peace, stability and prosperity in the region.

The Meeting was co-chaired by Mr. I Gusti Agung Wesaka Puja, Director-General for ASEAN Cooperation, Senior Officials Meeting Leader of Indonesia, and Mr. Lee Kyung-soo, Deputy Minister for Political Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea. Indonesia is the current ASEAN Country Coordinator for the ASEAN-ROK Dialogue Relations.