Minister of Foreign Affairs Chung Eui-yong participated in the 28th Meeting of the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) held at 20:00-24:00, August 6, in a virtual format. During the Meeting, the participants exchanged views on various security issues in the region, including those regarding the Korean Peninsula, Myanmar and the South China Sea.
Foreign Minister Chung took note that the ARF has raised understanding among countries on key regional security issues by implementing confidence-building measures and preventive diplomacy. He suggested working more closely together at the ARF in a bid to build a peaceful and stable order in the region.
Foreign Minister Chung stressed the need for the ARF to strengthen cooperation to create a safe cyber environment. In particular, as cybersecurity has become more important amid the increase in online activities due to the spread of COVID-19, Foreign Minister Chung expressed the Republic of Korea’s (ROC) will to promote cybersecurity as a co-chair of the next ARF Inter-Sessional Meeting on ICTs Security. The ROK, Indonesia, Australia and Russia are going to serve as co-chairs of the ARF Inter-Sessional Meeting on ICTs Security in 2021-2024.
Foreign Minister Chung mentioned that although COVID-19 is hampering UN peacekeeping operations, the ARF member states need to continue cooperation in the field of peacekeeping operations in order to build a peaceful and stable order in the region. Foreign Minister Chung asked the ARF member countries to participate in and support the UN Peacekeeping Ministerial to be held in Seoul this December, expecting that this event will be an opportunity to further strengthen global cooperation in building peace and prosperity in the region.
Regarding the Korean Peninsula, Foreign Minister Chung emphasized the ROK’s efforts to achieve complete denuclearization and permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula. Foreign Minister Chung welcomed the participation of the DPRK in the 28th Meeting of the ARF and mentioned the importance of diplomacy and dialogue discussed in the ROK-U.S. Summit last May. He highlighted that the ROK government is continuing efforts to resume inter-Korean and U.S.-DPRK dialogue based on the previous agreements reached between the leaders of the two Koreas and between those of the U.S. and the DPRK. The ministers of the other countries noted the importance of an early resumption of dialogue and the full implementation of UN Security Council resolutions for the establishment of peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula.
On Myanmar, Foreign Minister Chung called for an immediate release of those detained and the restoration of democracy in Myanmar and reiterated the ROK’s support for ASEAN’s constructive role in resolving the situation. Furthermore, he underlined that the five-point consensus, reached at the ASEAN Leaders’ Meeting in April, should be implemented without delay, and welcomed the appointment of Minister of Foreign Affairs II of Brunei Darussalam Erywan Yusof as Special Envoy of the ASEAN Chair on Myanmar.
On the South China Sea, Foreign Minister Chung reiterated that maintaining peace and stability in the South China Sea is vital for all countries, and stressed that relevant international law, including the UNCLOS, should be respected and freedom of navigation and over-flight should be guaranteed. Meanwhile, the Meeting adopted the “Joint Statement on Promoting the Youth, Peace and Security Agenda at the ASEAN Regional Forum,” which emphasizes the need to increase and ensure the participation of youth in peacekeeping procedures.