ASEAN+3 Foreign Ministers Check on Regional Cooperation
Top diplomats from the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations gathered in
the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh this Tuesday,. to check up on the recently doubled multi-lateral currency swap arrangement with their counterparts from South Korea, China and Japan.
In May, finance ministers from the countries making up the so-called ASEAN-plus-three agreed to expand the foreign exchange reserves pool to 240 billion U.S. dollars, with Korea contributing 16 percent of the total amount.
That would allow Korea to also access 16 percent of the pool in case of a financial emergency.
[Interview : Kim Sung-han, Korean Vice Foreign Minister] "Regional cooperation in East Asia at this juncture is in full blossom. This year marks the 15th anniversary of ASEAN plus three. I'm sure that ASEAN plus three has successfully played a leading role in regional integration since its launch back in 1997."
Also on the agenda was mid- to long-term cooperation in East Asia under the framework of the East Asia Vision Group, brought forth by the Korean government.
Korea held separate talks with five Mekong River nations, a region that has lately seen a rapid annual growth of more than five percent.
Following up on last year's inaugural agreement, Korea has announced to launch several cooperative projects to foster the region's infrastructure, IT technology and agriculture.
On Thursday, South Korean Foreign Minister Kim Sung-hwan will join his six-party talks counterparts at the annual ASEAN Regional Forum.
Here, the 27-member conference will address a range of regional security issues, such as North Korea's botched rocket launch in April and ongoing territorial disputes between China and ASEAN countries.
[Reporter : Choi You-sun
firstname.lastname@example.org] "It was on the sidelines of these ASEAN-led meetings in Bali last year that the two Koreas reopened dialogue on the North's denuclearization. Although Pyeongyang has to regain the six parties' trust, there's still hope for some revival of talks this week.
Choi You-sun, Arirang News, Phnom Penh."
Reporter : email@example.com