SEOUL, Nov 10 — South Korea and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) launched a new bilateral defense ministerial dialogue on Wednesday, the defense ministry said, as Seoul pushes to cement ties with the regional bloc under its signature New Southern Policy.
According to Yonhap news agency, Defense Minister Suh Wook and his Asean counterparts held the inaugural session of the Asean-ROK Informal Defense Ministers Meeting via video links to discuss regional security and other pending bilateral issues.
ROK stands for South Korea’s formal name, the Republic of Korea.
At the session, Suh unveiled Seoul’s action plan for defense cooperation with the 10-member regional bloc, which consists of various joint tasks related to maritime security, cybersecurity, disaster responses, peacekeeping operations, counterterrorism efforts and other areas.
The ministry said the action plan seeks to pursue “harmonious” defense cooperation between Seoul’s New Southern Policy and the Asean Outlook on the Indo-Pacific — the regional bloc’s broad vision for regional cooperation anchored in the Asean centrality.
During the meeting, Asean defense officials expressed support for South Korea’s diplomatic efforts to achieve denuclearisation and lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula, it added the ministry said.
Asean comprises Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.