President Moon Jae-in has embarked on a three-nation tour of ASEAN member nations, namely Thailand, Myanmar and Laos.
It was one of President Moon's goals to visit all 10 ASEAN nations during his tenure and he's set to reach that goal through this trip.
Various discussions and agreements on ways to boost economic and security ties with each respective nation are expected to take place his week-long trip and today we go in-depth on the significance of the trip with Dr. Chung Hae-moon, former Secretary General of the ASEAN-Korea Centre.
1. With this trip, President Moon will have visited all 10 ASEAN member nations in his third year in office. Tell us about the significance of this trip.
2. President Moon's well-known ASEAN strategy is the so-called 'New Southern Policy' that aims to uplift cooperative ties between South Korea and ASEAN nations to the level of cooperation between South Korea and the four regional powers. How do you assess the achievements of his policy since it was first announced in 2017?
3. Prior to his departure, President Moon held a written interview with the Bangkok Post where he once again stressed the unfairness of Japan's economic retaliations. In your perspective, how would this trip help in resolving Seoul-Tokyo tensions?
4. South Korea's largest port city, Busan will host the Korea-ASEAN special summit in November and President Moon stated that it would be 'meaningful' if Kim Jong-un could come down South and make a visit to the summit. How do you gauge the importance of ASEAN members for President Moon's peace process of the Korean Peninsula?
5. President Moon's first stop was Thailand. You served as the South Korean Ambassador to Thailand in 2008. How would you decribe the significance of Thailand's diplomatic and economic ties with South Korea?
6. President Moon and Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, during their summit talks today, agreed to advance their joint partnership in Fourth Industrial Revolution technology as well as sign a military intel-sharing agreement to boost security ties. How do you see the outcome?
7. The second leg of President Moon's tour will be Myanmar. He's scheduled to hold a summit with state councilor Aung San Suu Kyi. What are some of the President's itinerary we should keep an eye on?
8. Moon's last stop will be Laos. He will mark the first sitting South Korean president to visit the country. What are the fields of cooperation that garners most attention?