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Events [Press Releases]2020 Northeast Asia Peace and Cooperation Forum Takes Place Department IFANS Uploaded by IFANS Upload Date 2020.12.09 Hits 5760
1. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, together with the Korea National Diplomatic Academy (KNDA), held the 2020 Northeast Asia Peace and Cooperation Forum (NAPC Forum) on the theme of “A New Vision for Regional Confidence Building” on December 3. 

° The NAPC Forum is a key means of implementation for the “Northeast Asia Peace and Cooperation Platform,” which is being carried out by the Korean government, with an aim to build a practice of dialogue and cooperation in Northeast Asia. This annual Forum is participated by experts from the private sector of the participating countries (Korea, China, Japan, the United States, Russia and Mongolia) and international dialogue partners. 

° Considering the COVID-19 situation, the Forum was held in a hybrid (online and offline) format: The Korean speakers attended in person the event held in a conference hall in Seoul, the foreign figures participated virtually, and the event was broadcast in real time on a YouTube channel.

 
2. In his opening remarks, KNDA Chancellor Kim Joon Hyung highlighted the usefulness of the Korean government’s “Northeast Asia Peace and Cooperation Platform” as a multilateral platform for confidence building for peace and prosperity in Northeast Asia where sharp geopolitical conflicts exist, and for discussing future visions of the region.

° The first special speaker, former President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso, stressed that the reconciliation in Europe in the Cold War era was achieved through continued creation of shared economic benefits by countries in the region for a political integration and that internal problem-solving capacity, such as strong leadership and dedication of political leaders in the region, is important rather than external conditions.

° The second special speaker, former High Representative of the European Union (EU) for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini, emphasized that Europe, where sharp conflicts and disputes existed in the past, was able to build a mechanism for security and cooperation as countries in the region established institutions for creating shared economic benefits and perceiving one another as members of one community; their political leaders spared neither wisdom nor courage for integration; and support for Europe’s integration was garnered from offshore countries as well.

 
3. Session I featured a discussion on “The Quest for Confidence Building Measures in Northeast Asia: Lessons from Europe,” with KNDA Chancellor Kim Joon Hyung as its moderator.

° In his keynote speech, former Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Emerging Security Challenges of NATO Jamie Shea mentioned that, considering the rise of China and the North Korean nuclear issue in Asia, NATO should play a more active role in Asia by enhancing its relations with Northeast Asian countries.

° Professor at Peking University Jia Qingguo said that, in light of Europe’s integration experiences, it is necessary to resolve disputes through dialogue and consultations, to establish a rule-based order, and build an inclusive multilateral mechanism participated by a number of countries in order to build confidence in Northeast Asia.

° Professor at Keio University Soeya Yoshihide stressed that historical reconciliation is not a prerequisite for regional cooperation and that positive synergy in the course of cooperation can lead to reconciliation. He went on to point out that the current state of the Korea-Japan relations is a huge loss for multilateralism in East Asia in terms of politics and economy, and that cooperation among the members of the Middle Power Quad (MPQ), which consists of ASEAN, Japan, Korea, India and Australia, is a strategy for the co-existence of the countries in the region amid the U.S.-China competition.

° Professor at the KNDA Jun Bong-Geun suggested ways to build confidence in the region as follows: normalizing the trilateral relations among Korea, China and Japan and building a non-nuclear peace-regime on the Korean peninsula; further institutionalizing the “Northeast Asia Peace and Cooperation Platform”; building a middle-situated, middle power coalition; building a multi-layered, cross-cutting network of mini-multilateralism; building an epistemic community for regionalism; and building an East Asia peace and prosperity community by expanding the nuclear-weapon-free zone to Asia and South Pacific.


4. Session II featured a discussion on “Initial Confidence Building Measures among Korea, Japan and China: Searching for Practicalities,” with head of the Institute for National Security Strategy Kim Ki Jung as its moderator.

° Professor at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences Wang Junsheng suggested that Korea, China and Japan, which are responding relatively well to the global COVId-19 pandemic, carry out joint research and create a cooperative mechanism in non-traditional security areas, including health security, disaster relief and social security.

° Professor at Korea National Defense University Park Changhee proposed that Korea, China and Japan discuss shared security issues and launch the “Northeast Asian Defense Dialogue” platform to promote mutual understanding and trust as well as military transparency.

° Professor at Hokkaido University Endo Ken mentioned that normative settlements among countries in the region and American support are necessary for regional cooperation in Northeast Asia and that it is necessary to actively utilize not only cooperative mechanisms among Korea, China and Japan, but also various other regional cooperative mechanisms.

° Associate Researcher Fellow at the China Institute of International Studies (CIIS) Cao Qun, introducing the agreement reached between China and Japan to use the Maritime and Aerial Communication Mechanism to prevent friction or conflict between their frontline forces at the sea and in the air, suggested expanding this mechanism to a multilateral mechanism of the region and starting consultations among Korea, China and Japan to that end.

° Professor at Nagasaki University Yoshida Fumihiko mentioned that, in order to build confidence in regional military security, it is necessary to make efforts to hold active disarmament negotiations among the U.S., Russia and China with regard to nuclear threats in Northeast Asia and to promote the transparency of military policies.

° Senior Policy Analyst at the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) Patricia M.Kim noted that as Korea’s New Southern Policy and New Northern Policy, Japan’s Indo-Pacific Vision, and China’s Belt and Road Initiative share the common goal of achieving connectivity and economic cooperation in the region, the outlook on multilateral cooperation in the region is positive.

° Professor at the KNDA Kim Han-kwon mentioned that it is necessary to continue cooperation on not only non-traditional but also traditional security issues, such as military security, for multilateral cooperation in Northeast Asia.

 
5. On December 4, the second day of the Forum, a closed-door special session will be held on the theme of “Countering the Pandemic: Making a Safe Region,” moderated by President of the Institute of Foreign Affairs and National Security Oh Youngju.

° In the special session, experts from Northeast Asia, including Korea, China, Japan, Russia and Mongolia, are expected to discuss specific ways for regional cooperation for pandemic response.


6. The Forum is seen to have served as a good opportunity to explore and discuss ways to build confidence and work together for sustainable peace and prosperity in Northeast Asia amid the global spread of COVID-19 and the fluctuating regional and global situations.


* Press Releases(MOFA Homepage)


 
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