Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Head of the ASEAN Senior Official Meeting (SOM) delegation of Vietnam Do Hung Viet and Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, SOM Leader of the Republic of Korea (RoK) Chung Byung-won co-chaired the 28th ASEAN-RoK Dialogue on April 4.

SOM leaders, heads of delegations and Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN for the ASEAN Political-Security Community at the event. (Photo: VNA)
SOM leaders, heads of delegations and Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN for the ASEAN Political-Security Community at the event. (Photo: VNA)

The event was attended by senior officials of ASEAN member states, the Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN for the ASEAN Political-Security Community, and Timor-Leste as observer.

Participants at the event reviewed the ASEAN-RoK cooperation, proposed directions and measures to further develop the relations in the coming time, as well as discussed the international and regional situation.

Speaking the event, the RoK Deputy Minister emphasised that this year is an important year to comprehensively implement eight key tasks in the Korea-ASEAN Solidarity Initiative (KASI) announced by the RoK in April 2023. The RoK will continue to strengthen practical and mutually beneficial partnerships in addressing regional challenges including traditional and non-traditional security areas such as strategic cooperation, digital transformation, climate change response and development in the future. It will contribute to the establishment of three major communities that ASEAN aims to achieve by 2025.

Jeong Byeong-won also asked for support from ASEAN member countries so that the KASI's core cooperation projects, for example, the "Korea-ASEAN Digital Innovation" - a project using the ASEAN-Korea Cooperation Fund to strengthen human capacity, use and popularise artificial intelligence (AI), are launched and successfully implemented.

The Korean side supports ASEAN's digital innovation by building customised infrastructure related to AI and supporting human resources development. 

At the dialogue, both ASEAN and the RoK affirmed the strategic importance of the relationship to each side and the entire region. The RoK emphasised that ASEAN is the focus of its regional strategy. The RoK said it supports the central role of ASEAN, and affirmed to coordinate with the grouping to effectively implement the KASI.

Meanwhile, ASEAN countries welcomed the RoK's proposal to establish the ASEAN-RoK Comprehensive Strategic Partnership (CSP) and are actively coordinating with the Korean side towards this goal on the occasion of the 35th anniversary of ASEAN-RoK dialogue relations this year.

Appreciating the positive developments over the past time, ASEAN and the RoK agreed to continue coordinating to implement the ASEAN-RoK Action Plan for the 2021-2025 period effectively. Countries agreed to pay attention and prioritise resources to promote trade, investment and market access; stabilise supply chains; develop business, culture, education and health; and expand their cooperation to new areas with great potential such as innovation, digital transformation, energy transition, climate change response, and green and sustainable development.

ASEAN agreed to work with the RoK to strengthen response to non-traditional security challenges and maritime cooperation. The bloc welcomed the RoK’s continued commitment to supporting it in narrowing the development gaps and developing the sub-region, including the Mekong-RoK partnership framework. 

ASEAN member states and the RoK also exchanged views on issues of common interest and concern, including developments in the East Sea/South China Sea, Korean Peninsula, Myanmar, Ukraine and the Middle East.

Both sides emphasised the need to strengthen coordination, particularly at mechanisms chaired by ASEAN, to strive to ensure peace, security and stability in the region, facilitate development, and uphold international law compliance, resolve disputes and conflicts by peaceful means on the basis of the UN Charter and basic principles of international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS 1982).

Vietnamese Deputy FM Do Hung Viet asked the RoK to keep supporting ASEAN's common stance on the East Sea as well as efforts to fully and effectively implement the Declaration of the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) and soon finalise a Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC) that is effective, efficient, substantive and in accordance with international law, including UNCLOS 1982.

Regarding the topics of science, technology, innovation and digital transformation, Viet said cooperation in the areas has become increasingly urgent for each country and every citizen, towards a self-resilient and sustainable future. He spoke highly of the RoK's support to ASEAN, especially its commitment of 30 million USD for the Korea-ASEAN Digital Innovation Framework (KADIF).

ASEAN has proposed directions and solutions to promote its cooperation with the RoK in the coming time, with focus on digital infrastructure development, human resources, digital economy, as well as strengthen cooperation in emerging fields such as semiconductors, AI, digital data, cyber security and information safety, and AI governance, he said. 

Regarding the transfer of the coordinating role of ASEAN-RoK relations to Thailand at the ASEAN Post Ministerial Conferences (PMC) with the RoK in July 2024, Viet affirmed that Vietnam will coordinate closely with Thailand in this process, ensuring continuity and efforts to promote ASEAN-RoK relations to new heights.

Source: VNA

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