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ROK’s Indo-Pacific Strategy and Its Commitment to Cooperation with ASEAN
Published June 19, 2023
Publication Source: KIEP
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The Republic of Korea (ROK) unveiled its Strategy for Free, Peaceful, and Prosperous Indo-Pacific region, an ROK version of Indo-Pacific strategy, at the end of December last year. The strategy emphasizes that ROK, as a global pivot state, prioritizes building a multi-layered and comprehensive network of cooperation with the Indo-Pacific region. The inclusion of six regions in ROK’s Indo-Pacific strategy – the North Pacific, Southeast Asia and ASEAN, South Asia, Oceania, the African East and Indian Ocean, Europe, and South America – raised concerns about ROK’s commitment to enhancing cooperation specifically with Southeast Asia and ASEAN. Nevertheless, when examining the ties between ASEAN Member States (AMS) and ROK, it is improbable that ROK-ASEAN cooperation, along with cooperation with the other five regions, will take a backseat. This is due to the introduction of the Korea-ASEAN Solidarity Initiative (KASI), a sub-regional policy under ROK’s Indo-Pacific strategy that specifically focuses on enhancing cooperation with Southeast Asia. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of ROK made this announcement, further solidifying the commitment to ROK-ASEAN cooperation within the broader framework of the six regions. Moreover, KASI carries forward the principles of the New Southern Policy (NSP) emphasizing cooperation with Southeast Asia and India.

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