ASEAN mem­bers, Korea seek ways to strengthen ties

The Korea Times - - NATIONAL - By You Soo-sun ssyk­times@gmail.com

An in­ter­na­tional con­fer­ence com­mem­o­rat­ing the 50th an­niver­sary of the As­so­ci­a­tion of South­east Asian Na­tions (ASEAN) and the ASEAN-ROK Cul­tural Ex­change Year took place at the Lotte Ho­tel in cen­tral Seoul, Wed­nes­day. Un­der the theme of “Part­ner­ing for To­mor­row,” gov­ern­ment rep­re­sen­ta­tives and ex­perts from Korea and ASEAN mem­ber coun­tries dis­cussed ways to strengthen their co­op­er­a­tion.

The event was or­ga­nized by the ASEAN-Korea Cen­tre, the Min­istry of For­eign Af­fairs, and the In­sti­tute of South­east Asian Stud­ies. ASEAN-Korea Cen­tre Sec­re­tary Gen­eral Kim Young-sun ex­plained that although the two have come a long way since their di­a­logue was first es­tab­lished in 1989, this part­ner­ship is at a crit­i­cal junc­ture to “nav­i­gate through grow­ing un­cer­tain­ties and de­velop a mu­tu­ally ben­e­fi­cial part­ner­ship.”

The event was com­posed of two ses­sions. The first covered is­sues re­gard­ing po­lit­i­cal, se­cu­rity and eco­nomic as­pects of the re­la­tion­ship; the sec­ond fo­cused on the sig­nif­i­cance of socio-cul­tural co­op­er­a­tion in build­ing a solid and long-last­ing part­ner­ship.

At the open­ing cer­e­mony, ASEAN Sec­re­tary Gen­eral Le Luong Minh made a con­grat­u­la­tory re­mark and Korean and Philip­pine for­eign af­fairs gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials de­liv­ered key­note speeches.

Minh ex­pressed grat­i­tude to Korea for its sup­port in “nar­row­ing the de­vel­op­ment gap and en­hanc­ing re­gional con­nec­tiv­ity” as well as “ad­dress­ing global chal­lenges such as cli­mate change and nat­u­ral dis­as­ters through shar­ing of best prac­tices and ex­pe­ri­ences.”

Korea’s For­eign Af­fairs Min­is­ter Kang Kyung-wha ap­praised ASEAN mem­ber coun­tries’ roles in “de­ter­ring large dis­putes in the re­gion.”

Cour­tesy of ASEAN-Korea Cen­tre

For­eign Af­fairs Min­is­ter Kang Kyung-wha, fourth from right, ASEAN Sec­re­tary Gen­eral Le Luong Minh, fifth from right, and ASEAN-Korea Cen­tre Sec­re­tary Gen­eral Kim Young-sun, sixth from right wave dur­ing a con­fer­ence at Lotte Ho­tel in cen­tral Seoul, Wed­nes­day.

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