BUSAN, The leaders of South Korea and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) agreed during their special summit here Tuesday to upgrade their bilateral strategic partnerships on regional and global issues for a joint response to the opportunities and challenges ahead, Yonhap news agency reported.

President Moon Jae In and the leaders of 10 Southeast Asian countries adopted a joint vision statement for peace, prosperity and partnership following the first session of the ASEAN-Republic of Korea Commemorative Summit in Busan, 450 kilometers southeast of Seoul. Session I took the theme of Republic of Korea-ASEAN 30 & 30. The Republic of Korea is South Korea’s official name.

The Busan summit is designed to celebrate the 30th anniversary of bilateral dialogue relations and seek ways to establish closer ties in the coming three decades.

The statement will serve as a framework of South Korea’s future ties with ASEAN, especially with the Moon administration gearing up for its New Southern Policy 2.0.

South Korea and ASEAN agreed to build a People-centered Community of Peace and Prosperity.

(The two sides will) promote and facilitate dialogue and cooperation, including through ASEAN-led mechanisms, to support complete denuclearisation and the establishment of permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula in a peaceful manner, the statement read.

They took note of ASEAN’s readiness to continue to play a constructive role in contributing to peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula.

The two sides will enhance cooperation in security areas to address traditional and nontraditional security challenges, such as transnational crime, terrorism and violent extremism, and further strengthen cybersecurity cooperation in a bid to support the development of the digital economy in the region, it added.

South Korea and ASEAN also agreed to promote economic cooperation for shared prosperity, especially in terms of trade and investment, connectivity, micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), as well as startups partnerships and innovation, in the era of the fourth industrial revolution.

In addition, they set a goal of bolstering cooperation on sustainability and environmental issues.

Speaking at the outset of the session, Moon advocated cooperation and solidarity between the two sides.

We are confronted with new challenges such as protectionism, transnational crimes and the fourth industrial revolution, he said. Only our cooperation and solidarity can overcome the challenges.

Source: NAM News Network