The 18th ASEAN-Republic of Korea (ROK) Dialogue was convened on June 18-19 in Pusan, the ROK, reviewing ASEAN-ROK relations and discussing its future direction.

Participants looked at the outcomes of the 16 th ASEAN-ROK Summit on October 9, 2013 in Bandar Seri Begawan, particularly on the major initiatives such as further liberalization and improvement of the ASEAN-Korea Free Trade Agreement and enhancing ASEAN-ROK cooperation in connectivity.

They sought ways to enhance effective implementation of the ASEAN-ROK Plan of Action 2011-2015 as well as to prepare for a successor Plan of Action for the post-2015 period.

They discussed preparation for the ASEAN-ROK Commemorative Summit to be held in December 2014 in the ROK to mark the 25 th Anniversary of the ASEAN-ROK relations.

The Commemorative Summit with its slogan “Building Trust, Bringing Happiness” will be an important event to review ASEAN-ROK relations and chart out direction for ASEAN-ROK cooperation in political-security, economic, and social-cultural areas, as well as on major global issues.

The senior officials exchanged views on East Asian cooperation. The ROK reaffirmed its support for ASEAN’s central role in regional frameworks such as the ASEAN Plus Three (ASEAN+3), East Asia Summit (EAS), ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting-Plus (ADMM-Plus), and in promoting East Asian cooperation toward the establishment of an East Asian community.

The two sides also discussed recent developments in their respective regions as well as on security-related issues such as maritime security and non-traditional security challenges.

In addition, the Meeting exchanged views on regional and international issues of common interest and concern, including food and energy security, climate change, disaster and water management, maritime search and rescue, counter-terrorism and transnational crimes, with a view to enhancing ASEAN-ROK cooperation in these areas in pursuit of shared peace, stability and prosperity in the region.-VNA