ASEAN members, Korea seek ways to strengthen ties
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.”
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.