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S. Korea's top diplomat to visit Cambodia for ASEAN-hosted meetings next week

All News 17:21 July 28, 2022

By Song Sang-ho

SEOUL, July 28 (Yonhap) -- South Korean Foreign Minister Park Jin plans to attend next week's annual gatherings, led by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), in Cambodia and outline the Yoon Suk-yeol administration's policy on the key regional bloc, his ministry announced Thursday.

He will also seek to use the occasion to drum up global support for measures to counter North Korea's evolving military threats.

Park is scheduled to join the South Korea-ASEAN foreign ministers' meeting and the ASEAN plus three meeting, also involving China and Japan, on Thursday, according to his ministry. The following day, he will take part in the East Asia Summit (EAS) meeting and the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF).

This photo, taken July 25, 2022, shows Foreign Minister Park Jin speaking during a parliamentary session at the National Assembly in Seoul. (Pool photo) (Yonhap)

Park is expected to demonstrate the Yoon government's commitment to deepening ties with the ASEAN -- South Korea's increasingly crucial partner for its growth potential, rich resources and diplomatic ties with North Korea.

Yoon's ASEAN policy focuses on expanding "practical, strategic" cooperation in various areas, including economic, maritime and cyber security, public health, energy and climate change, the official told reporters on condition of anonymity.

The ASEAN plus three gathering is set to discuss regional efforts to beef up public health cooperation and promote an early economic recovery through such efforts as stabilizing supply chains, according to the ministry.

At the EAS and ARF sessions, Park and his counterparts are expected to discuss an array of regional and global issues, including Russia's invasion of Ukraine, North Korea's continued pursuit of nuclear arms, China's assertiveness in the South and East China Seas, and an apparently stalled democratic transition in Myanmar.

Particularly at the ARF session, the only multilateral security forum attended by the North, Park plans to explain Seoul's policy approach toward Pyongyang and highlight concerns that the regime could further ratchet up tensions through a nuclear test, according to the official.

Pyongyang is reportedly expected to send An Kwang-il, its point man on ASEAN and Indonesia, to this year's ARF session on behalf of its top diplomat, Choe Son-hui, amid the secretive nation's border lockdowns aimed at curbing COVID-19 infections.

sshluck@yna.co.kr
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