Asean, S. Korea discuss coronavirus cooperation
SEOUL — South Korea’s foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha spoke by phone with the chief of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) on Monday and discussed ways for greater cooperation amid the coronavirus pandemic, her office said.
During the phone call with Secretary General Lim Jock Hoi, Kang said South Korea is looking into measures that would allow special entry of businesspeople from Asean member states, as exemptions to current entry restrictions over the COVID-19 outbreak, to enable essential economic activities.
Explaining South Korea’s virus outbreak situation and its continued quarantine efforts, she called for the Asean secretariat to take an active role in uniting the will and capabilities of Asean nations to overcome the pandemic.
She added that expanding cooperation with Asean in health-related fields will be a key topic for South Korea, in line with the New Southern Policy, a signature initiative being pushed for by the Moon Jae-in government to deepen ties with Southeast Asian partners.
In response, Lim agreed that Asean and South Korea should continue to work closely together so as to help boost economies hurt by the coronavirus outbreak.
He also expressed thanks for South Korea’s $5 million provision to the Asean countries via a cooperation fund to provide coronavirus test kits and protective gear. (Yonhap)
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