SEOUL: South Korea will host a multilateral forum to promote security cooperation in Northeast Asia this week, the foreign ministry said Tuesday, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reported.
The forum to be held from Thursday to Friday in Seoul will bring together about 200 government officials and private experts.
Regional players like the United States, China, Japan, Russia and Mongolia will participate in the forum along with other interested partners like Australia, New Zealand, the European Union, the United Nations, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe.
The forum involving governments and private experts was launched as part of the Moon Jae-in government’s policy vision of creating a platform to facilitate security cooperation in Northeast Asia which lacks regional security cooperation apparatus.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs plans to hold this gathering of major partners inside and outside of the Northeast Asian region on a yearly basis in order to make efforts to turn the regional geopolitical tension and rivalry here into an order of dialogue and cooperation,” according to the ministry.
Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha will deliver her congratulatory speech on the first day, where she will highlight South Korea’s vision to pursue “comprehensive, connected and common” efforts to build peace and prosperity in the region and the surrounding area.
The forum will be attended by Joseph Yun, deputy assistant secretary for Korea and Japan at the US State Department, Chinese deputy director-general for Asian affairs Chen Hai, and directors or deputy directors from participating countries, the ministry noted.
From a long-term perspective, the ministry also hopes to eventually invite North Korea to join the forum, but the communist country has not been invited this year, given the current security tensions concerning the country, a ministry official said.
“But we do not rule out the invitation of North Korea in the long term,” he said.