16 September 2017
South Korea has mapped out three key policy directions with the aim of upgrading ties with South-east Asia, said Foreign Minister Kang Kyung Wha.
These are to expand economic cooperation, deepen people exchanges and widen the scope of security cooperation.
Mr Shawn Ho, associate research fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, suggested that South Korea, instead of vying with China and Japan for major infrastructure projects, could focus instead on areas where it has a competitive edge, such as information and communications technology, smart technologies and e-commerce.
On security, South Korean academics and analysts have been urging the country to leverage on ASEAN’s friendly ties with North Korea to break the nuclear impasse on the Korean Peninsula.
But Mr Ho warned against too much optimism as Asean maintains a non-partisan stance in issues beyond its shores, and countries with close ties with North Korea may be reluctant to get involved.
“If Asean chooses to take a greater leadership role on the Korean peninsula issue, ASEAN can certainly make a positive contribution. However… ASEAN’s primary focus will still be on issues within South-east Asia and on non-traditional security issues,” he said.
IDSS / Online / Print
Last updated on 18/09/2017