By Kim Young Shin
International experts on South Asian and Southeast Asian affairs stressed the importance of persistency and coherency in Korea’s New Southern Policy at an international conference hosted by the Korea National Diplomatic Academy (KNDA) at its Seoul offices on July 3.
Some 150 experts, including Second Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Cho Hyun, former Foreign Minister Yoon Young-kwan, former ASEAN Secretary General Ong Keng Yong from Singapore, President Nguyen Vu Tung of the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam, and Chairman Sunjoy Joshi of the Observer Research Foundation, attended the event to discuss effective strategies for the New Southern Policy moving forward.
Secretary General Ong pointed out that Korea’s policy toward ASEAN has undergone several changes during times of regime change. He said, “It’s important to keep a persistent and coherent policy and strategy toward ASEAN countries.”
Nguyen said, “It’s critical for the New Southern Policy to continue to maintain its momentum.” He added that, “Korea should develop a clear and specific vision and strategy toward ASEAN.”
“Policy makers should focus on creating synergies between the New Southern Policy, which emphasizes the partnership among ASEAN and the countries along the Indian Ocean, and India’s Act East Policy,” said Chairman Joshi.
Other experts at the conference mentioned that Korea should not just focus on business and the economy, but also cooperate on ocean security, cyber security and digital linkages.
“Prior to President Moon Jae-in’s visit to India and Singapore, we hosted this conference to raise interest in each other and to seek effective measures for the New Southern Policy,” said the KNDA in a statement.