NEW YORK – Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter S. Cayetano urged the People’s Democratic Republic of Korea to call off its announced plans to conduct more ballistic missile test launches to avoid further raising tensions in the region.
“The Philippines urges the DPRK to heed the calls of the international community to avoid taking provocative actions that contribute to nothing but heightened tensions not just in the Korean Peninsula but also in the rest of the Asia-Pacific Region,” Cayetano said after delivering his keynote speech at the International Conference on ASEAN-Korea Partnership in Seoul on August 30.
The conference which was held at the Lotte Hotel in Seoul had the theme Partnering for Tomorrow. It highlighted the developments in the ASEAN-Korea partnership in the past three decades and shared insights on how the relations will further evolve.
The one-day agenda included two sessions discussing politics, security, economics and socio-cultural cooperation between ASEAN and Korea while sub-sessions addressed embracing diversity for a participative and inclusive community, working together towards a sustainable and resilient community and exploring cultural cooperation for a dynamic and harmonious community.
Asian Institute of Management professor, Dr. Federico Macaranas, was one of the presentors that stirred discussion on economic trends and policies.
It was organized by the Korean Government, the ASEAN-Korea Center, the Korean Institute for Southeast Asian Studies and Joongang Ilbo Daily as part of the commemoration of the organization’s 50th anniversary this year.
In her keynote speech, Kang Kyung-wha, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the ROK, noted that it was timely to host the conference during the monumental year of the 50th anniversary of ASEAN. She hoped that with all the experts in attendance sharing their insights and vision will result in an even clearer sense of the how ASEAN and Korea can embark in the next five decades of “flourishing cooperation”.
“Following today’s conference, the Korean government will continue our discussions with academia, industries and the National Assembly in the run-up to the ASEAN-ROK Summit in November. I hope that we can garner our wisdom to develop a tangible guideline for the ASEAN-ROK cooperation which will be officially announced at the Summit,” said Kang Kyung-wha.
In his keynote speech, Cayetano said ASEAN and Korea have a shared stake in regional peace and stability that calls for much closer consultations in light of serious developments that could impact the security of nations beyond the Korean Peninsula.
“ASEAN had made known its position on the DPRK issue on multiple occasions with a clear bottom line and that is to support an environment conducive to sustainable development, social progress and improved quality of life for all peoples in the region,” he told his audience that included South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-Wha and ASEAN Secretary General Le Luong Minh.
“Tried and tested, ASEAN-ROK cooperation has encouraged confidence in the power of our abiding friendship to build a future of shared peace and prosperity,” added Cayetano.
He emphasized that the political-security engagements, based on mutual trust, “continue to grow bilaterally and through ASEAN-led fora,” said Cayetano.