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FM Kang to attend annual ASEAN-related meetings via video links next week

All News 17:53 September 03, 2020

SEOUL, Sept. 3 (Yonhap) -- Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha will attend a series of annual meetings with her counterparts from Southeast Asian and other countries next week via video links to discuss responses to the new coronavirus and regional issues, her office said Thursday.

From Wednesday through Saturday, Kang will join the virtual meetings involving the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), such as the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) and the East Asia Summit session.

Vietnam planned to host the gatherings, but the participating countries have decided to hold the meetings via videoconferencing due to the COVID-19 pandemic that has disrupted in-person diplomacy.

At the meetings, Kang is expected to call for international solidarity in fighting the pandemic, spurring economic recovery and promoting regional peace, officials said.

In particular, she plans to call for support for Seoul's efforts to foster lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula and reaffirm her government's commitment to reinforcing cooperation with ASEAN under its signature New Southern Policy.

It remains unclear whether North Korea will take part in the ARF session.

But Ri Ho-jun, a North Korean diplomat in Vietnam, attended the senior officials' session of the forum in July to prepare for the ministerial gathering.

This photo, taken on June 3, 2020, shows Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha speaking in a videoconference with heads of diplomatic missions in Southeast Asian countries at the foreign ministry in Seoul. (Yonhap)


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