Following a series of talks with his ASEAN counterparts, South Korean Foreign Minister headed to China today to meet with his Chinese counterpart.
During his visit to Cambodia, where he attended the ASEAN regional forum and other meetings held on the sidelines, Park vowed to strengthen and expand Seoul's economic partnership with ASEAN countries.
He also spoke of South Korea's denuclearization plan, and its stance on the sensitive Taiwan issue.
For an analysis on the latest series of diplomatic interactions, we are joined by KIM Hyung-jong, Associate Professor at the Department of International Relations at Yonsei University via Zoom.
Good evening, Professor.
1. First, let's begin with your overall evaluation of the results of the ASEAN Regional Forum and the sideline discussions held in Cambodia?
2. South Korea's Foreign Minister Park Jin, and his counterparts from Southeast Asia agreed to to strengthen the "strategic dialogue" between South Korea and the region. Park also stressed that its partnership with the countries now goes beyond economic issues, signaling an expansion to other areas. What does this mean? And why have ASEAN countries become more important to South Korea?
3. At the ASEAN Regional Forum held in Phnom Penh, Cambodia on Friday, Park explained Seoul has prepared an "audacious plan" that would greatly improve North Korea's economy.
The plan seeks to "significantly" change the economy and the livelihoods of North Koreans if Pyeongyang chooses to discard its nuclear program.
How has North Korea reacted to this?
4. Now in the case of North Korea, its Foreign Minister Choe Son-hui had not participated at this year's ARF in person due to the North's strict measures to curb the spread of COVID-19. Instead, the North's ambassador to Indonesia and point man on ASEAN, An Kwang-il took part. Considering the ASEAN is the only multinational security dialogue that North Korea is part of, how significant was Choe's absence?
5.On China, Seoul's Foreign minister Park Jin expressed concerns over rising tensions surrounding Taiwan and made clear Seoul's objection to any attempts to change "the status quo by force". This is seen as the strongest stance from the Yoon administration on the sensitive matter.
Now that Park is set to meet with his Chinese counterpart on Tuesday, how do you think Seoul's latest remarks will affect future Seoul-Beijing ties?
(extra) Today marks the 55th anniversary of ASEAN's founding, how do you suggest the Yoon administration should push through with its diplomacy with ASEAN member states?
Thank you for your insights professor we appreciate it.