By Kim Deok-hyun
SEOUL, Oct. 20 (Yonhap) -- President Moon Jae-in will participate in a series of ASEAN-related summits next week via video links, as South Korea seeks closer cooperation with Southeast Asian nations in a post-pandemic era, Cheong Wa Dae said Wednesday.
Next week's summits organized by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) will focus on how to step up cooperation to cope with public health crises, such as COVID-19, and regional solidarity in a post-pandemic era, said presidential spokesperson Park Kyung-mee.
During the summits on Oct. 26 and 27, Moon will emphasize South Korea's efforts to tackle COVID-19 as a "global vaccine hub" and brief ASEAN members on plans to swiftly recover the regional economy from the pandemic, Park said.
South Korea has actively participated in the COVID-19 ASEAN Response Fund and the regional reserve of essential medical supplies.
Moon will also deepen a strategic partnership with ASEAN members under Seoul's New Southern Policy that aims to reduce South Korea's economic reliance on China.
On Tuesday, Moon will hold an online group summit with leaders of ASEAN, a regional intergovernmental organization comprised of 10 Southeast Asian nations, to discuss Seoul's cooperation with member nations in various fields.
Moon will also hold a group summit with leaders of the five Mekong River nations -- Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos and Thailand -- to discuss ways to forge deeper ties.
On Oct. 27, Moon will join the 24th ASEAN Plus Three summit, a dialogue between the heads of ASEAN together with South Korea, China and Japan.
Also on Oct. 27, Moon is scheduled to attend the East Asian Summit (EAS) session involving the ASEAN members, South Korea, Japan, China, the United States, Russia, Australia, India and New Zealand.
At the EAS summit, Moon is expected to highlight Seoul's efforts toward the goal of making the Korean Peninsula nuclear-free and bringing about peace in the region.
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