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Moon pledges more financial support to increase COVID-19 vaccination in ASEAN

All News 17:04 October 26, 2021

By Kim Deok-hyun

SEOUL, Oct. 26 (Yonhap) -- South Korea will provide an additional US$5 million to a regional fund to help Southeast Asian nations increase their COVID-19 vaccination rates, President Moon Jae-in said Tuesday.

Moon made the pledge as he attended South Korea's annual group summit, held via video links, with leaders of member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) earlier in the day.

During the summit, Moon voiced concerns that a global economic recovery is being hampered by the rapid spread of the highly-contagious delta variant.

"Eventually, solidarity and cooperation are the only way to overcome the coronavirus crisis," Moon told the summit.

South Korea has actively participated in the COVID-19 ASEAN Response Fund and the regional reserve of essential medical supplies.

S. Korea-ASEAN summit
S. Korea-ASEAN summit

South Korean President Moon Jae-in speaks via videoconference during a virtual summit with the leaders of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) at the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae in Seoul on Oct. 26, 2021. (Yonhap)

Moon also asked ASEAN leaders to support efforts to swiftly resume talks between South Korea and North Korea, as well as between North Korea and the United States for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

Talks with North Korea have largely stalled since February 2019, when a summit between then U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un ended without a deal.

In a joint statement, Moon and ASEAN leaders reaffirmed efforts to deepen their ties under Seoul's New Southern Policy, which aims to reduce South Korea's economic reliance on China.

They also recognized "the socio-economic challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic to the region and the need to undertake stronger regional cooperation to jointly address these challenges and establish a more resilient and sustainable future," according to the statement.


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