Hanoi (VNA) – Officials and scholars from the Republic of Korea (RoK) and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on October 25 called for greater cooperation between the two sides in spurring ongoing efforts for a lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula.

The call was made at a Seoul forum on the future of RoK-ASEAN relations, where a range of issues were discussed, such as the 10-member bloc's role in facilitating the dialogue process with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) and the RoK's current policy that attaches importance to the ASEAN.

The RoK Foreign Ministry's Ambassador for Public Diplomacy Chang Jae-bok said both the RoK and ASEAN have diplomatic ties with the DPRK, as seen through the two summits held in Singapore and Vietnam.

Chang referred to ASEAN's crucial logistical support for hosting the summits between US President Donald Trump and DPRK leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore in June last year and in Hanoi in February this year.

The RoK government has long been pursuing closer cooperation with ASEAN countries in its efforts to persuade Pyongyang to engage in dialogue and keep the regime on the denuclearisation track.

In particular, Seoul has used the annual ASEAN Regional Forum, a multilateral diplomatic event that top DPRK diplomats attend, to find dialogue opportunities with Pyongyang.

Chief of the Korean National Diplomatic Academy (KNDA) Kim Joon-hyung also stressed the importance of greater collaboration with ASEAN on DPRK issues.

Participants at the event discussed ways to further advance RoK President Moon Jae-in's New Southern Policy aimed at deepening ties with ASEAN, an increasingly crucial partner for the RoK because of its growth potential, rich resources and geopolitical strengths.

ASEAN is now the RoK's second largest trade partner./.