Park eyes trilateral summit with China, Japan
President Park Geun-hye expressed hope yesterday that leaders of South Korea, China and Japan would sit down for a trilateral summit after holding a foreign ministerial meeting in the near future.
Park made those remarks during the ASEAN+3 meeting in Naypyidaw, Myanmar, the Blue House said. She added that the foreign ministers’ meeting and the trilateral summit should take place in line with high-level talks among the three governments, which took place in Seoul in September.
Since Park took office in 2013, she has not had a former summit with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe due to tense relations. It is rare for the leaders of Korea and Japan to go without having a bilateral summit for years, as they are each other’s closest neighbors.
During the ASEAN+3 meeting, comprised of the members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) as well as Korea, China and Japan, leaders of participating nations discussed measures to tackle regional political, security, financial and cultural issues.
Asean members are Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand, Singapore and Vietnam.
At the end of the meeting, leaders released a joint statement expressing “concerns over recent developments in the South China Sea, which have increased tensions in the area” and called on “Iraq and international partners to ensure the protection of civilians and access to humanitarian assistance for those affected by the conflict.”
Park also expressed hope at the ninth edition of the East Asia Summit (EAS), held earlier in the day, that the forum would develop into an “evolving consultative body” that could effectively and proactively deal with new challenges.
The EAS, which includes members of Asean and Korea, the United States, China, India, Japan, Australia, Russia and New Zealand, focused on regional strategic and political issues.
President Park noted during her five-minute speech that she supported the EAS’s adoption of a joint statement that would eradicate the illegal trade of wildlife and plants and further elaborated on Korea’s plan to create an ecological peace park inside the demilitarized zone (DMZ).
The EAS also reviewed proceedings of agreed upon conditions laid out in a report produced during the 2012 meeting among representatives of the East Asia Vision Group (EAVG) II, initiated by former President Lee Myung-bak in 2011 with the intent to bring together experts to discuss the future of cooperation in East Asia.
The EAVG II set out a vision for establishing an economic bloc in East Asia by 2020. The report contains a proposed cooperation blueprint for a “Peaceful, Prosperous and Progressive East Asian Community.”
The leaders of 18 participating nations endorsed the assessment that the EAS has contributed to peace and security and has seen the results of cooperation with Asean as well as in energy and environment, finance, health, education and disaster control.
BY SEO JI-EUN [firstname.lastname@example.org]