By Argyll Cyrus Geducos
South Korean President Moon Jae-in expressed his government’s readiness to bring its ties with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member states to greater heights.
The statement was made during the 19th ASEAN-Republic of Korea (ROK) Summit during the first day of the 31st ASEAN Summit and Related Summits at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in Pasay City Monday.
Moon, during the related Summit, said his country is ready to further deepen its relations with the 10-member regional bloc, adding that South Korea is ready to support the ASEAN Community.
“I’m determined to bring Korea and ASEAN relations to a new height,” Moon said.
“The Korean government supports the efforts to realize the ASEAN Community. It also wishes to play its role as a key partner in all fields of politics, economy and society,” he added.
“Such community will bring together the vision of ASEAN community and the Korean government through the philosophy to achieve common prosperity through collaboration,” he continued.
Moon said that since his inauguration, he has dispatched a special envoy to the ASEAN, noting that he was the first Korean President to make such a move.
“As ASEAN and Korea both entering an era of new leaps and development, I believe it is the most appropriate time to upscale the level of bilateral cooperation,” Moon said.
President Moon meanwhile vowed to listen to the views expressed by ASEAN leaders and paid tribute to the “magnificent achievements made by ASEAN” in the past 50 years.
“ASEAN has steadily progressed the integration into major complex global circumstances and has elevated position in the international community,” Moon said.
“I’ll listen attentively to the views to be expressed by the ASEAN leaders. I look forward to seeing this meeting as the beginning of a bigger future for Korea-ASEAN relations,” he added.
For his part, President Duterte, as chair of this year’s ASEAN Summit, lauded Moon’s efforts to further deepen ASEAN-Korea ties.
Duterte was referring to Moon’s move to dispatch a special envoy to ASEAN.
“The ASEAN-ROK ties have grown over the past 28 years with our dialogue relations elevated to the strategic partners for peace and prosperity,” Duterte said.
Duterte also noted the continuous growth of trade and investment, and socio-cultural cooperation between ASEAN and South Korea.
“We will have a better sense of how far our strategic partnership has advanced in the course of this Summit mindful of our limited time,” Duterte said.