Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son was speaking this at the ASEAN-RoK Foreign Ministers’ Meeting held via videoconference on August 3. The Vietnamese diplomat hailed the RoK's increasingly important role in the region and welcomed its New Southern Policy aiming at deepening its partnership with ASEAN and Southeast Asia.
He suggested the RoK continue to provide vaccines against COVID-19 to ASEAN countries, support the bloc’s efforts to narrow the development gap and promote equitable and sustainable development in the ASEAN sub-regions, including the Mekong sub-region.
The Vietnamese minister thanked the RoK for supporting ASEAN’s principle stance on the East Sea, and proposed the country cooperate in promoting dialogue and trust building, exercising restraint and respecting international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
He affirmed ASEAN's commitment to fully and effectively implementing the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) and maintaining efforts to achieve an effective and substantive Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC) in accordance with international law and the UNCLOS.
The official also asserted that ASEAN supports the RoK’s efforts to promote peace, stability and complete denuclearisation on the Korean Peninsula, stressing that ASEAN is ready to play a constructive role and offer favourable conditions for dialogue among parties involved in ASEAN-led mechanisms.
Addressing the meeting, RoK Foreign Minister Chung Eui-yong affirmed that his country places importance on its strategic partnership with ASEAN, stressing that ASEAN is the priority of its New Southern Policy, and the RoK backs the grouping's central role in the regional architecture and the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific (AOIP).
In addition to US$1 million in support for ASEAN’s pandemic response, the RoK proposed organising the ASEAN-RoK Health Ministers’ Meeting in 2021 and strengthening medical dialogue between the two sides.
ASEAN member states noted their appreciation for the RoK’s timely and effective support, asking it to promote cooperation in the development, production and supply of COVID-19 vaccines.
Participants underlined the need to maintain a peaceful, secure, stable and favourable environment for pandemic prevention and control and post-pandemic recovery efforts.
The RoK advocates ASEAN’s stance on the East Sea, and welcomes the bloc to promote its role in promoting cooperation, dialogue and trust building in the region, and building an efficient and effective COC, in line with international law and the UNCLOS.
Both sides consented to issue a Declaration on strengthening ASEAN-RoK cooperation on AOIP at the 22nd ASEAN-RoK Summit later this year.
At the event Vietnam officially assumed the role as coordinator for ASEAN-the Republic of Korea (RoK) relations for 2021-2024.