ROK Lays Out Foreign Policy Goals for the Year 2016

As North Korea’s recent provocative action threats the peace in Korean Peninsula, Republic of Korea’s (ROK) Ministry of Foreign Affairs, jointly with the Ministry of National Defense and the Ministry of Unification presented to President Park Geun-hy

Feb. 15, 2016, 5:45 p.m. Published in Magazine Issue: Vol 09,No14,February 06,2016 (Magh 22,2072)

As North Korea’s recent provocative action threats the peace in Korean Peninsula, Republic of Korea’s (ROK) Ministry of Foreign Affairs, jointly with the Ministry of National Defense and the Ministry of Unification presented to President Park Geun-hye its 2016 policy briefing under the theme of “strong diplomacy and security, steady preparations for unification.”

According to a press release issued by ministry of Foreign Affairs of Republic of Korea, in the policy briefing, held in the midst of a situation of instability on the Korean Peninsula and in Northeast Asia in the wake of North Korea’s fourth nuclear test, the Ministries in charge of diplomacy and security announced their work plans for the year 2016, including four key strategies: taking all possible measures to respond to the threat of provocations by North Korea; taking a comprehensive approach to North Korea and its nuclear issues;  making strategic use of changes in the diplomatic and security environment; and continuing to make appropriate preparations for unification with the people and the international community.

 Under the theme of “responding to the North Korean nuclear issue and diplomacy for peaceful unification,” Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se set out four key tasks for the year 2016: taking a comprehensive approach to North Korea and its nuclear issues; bringing a more solid peace on the Korean Peninsula through proactive diplomacy in Northeast Asia; engaging in multi-directional regional diplomacy for peaceful unification; and strengthening international infrastructure to support unification.

Foreign Minister Yun said that the ROK will overcome the challenges faced today in this time of transition in close cooperation with the international community, and usher in an era of peaceful unification.

 Minister Yun presented the following measures to achieve the first task of “taking a comprehensive approach to North Korea and its nuclear issues -  response to North Korea’s fourth nuclear test; and △diplomacy to put pressure on North Korea to denuclearize and change its behavior.

The ROK will engage in multi-directional diplomacy towards neighboring countries, the UN Security Council, and the international community to make sure that North Korea pays the price for its fourth nuclear test.

The ROK will seek to encourage North Korea to denuclearize and change its behavior by strengthening the pressure from the international community on North Korea, fostering international cooperation on human rights in North Korea, and utilizing the framework of the Six-Party Talks in a creative manner.

Bringing a more solid peace on the Korean Peninsula through proactive diplomacy in Northeast Asia

 Minister Yun put forward the following measures to accomplish the second task of “bringing a more solid peace on the Korean Peninsula through proactive diplomacy in Northeast Asia” - △actively engaging in diplomacy towards four neighboring countries; and △facilitating trilateral cooperative mechanisms in the region.

The ROK will maintain and develop its strongest-ever alliance with the US and cooperate for strong and effective sanctions on North Korea. The ROK will strengthen strategic communication with China with a view to ensuring the implementation of the principle of zero tolerance of North Korea’s nuclear weapons program.

The ROK will seek to foster a virtuous cycle in its relations with Japan, maintaining the two-track principle, and strengthen cooperation between the ROK and Japan, and between the ROK, the US and Japan in dealing with the North Korean nuclear issue. The ROK will encourage Russia to play a constructive role in addressing North Korea and its nuclear issues on a basis of mutually-beneficial cooperation.

The ROK will facilitate trilateral cooperative mechanisms among the ROK, the US and Japan; among the ROK, the US and China; and among the ROK, Japan and China.

[Engaging in multi-directional regional diplomacy for peaceful unification]

As ways to achieve the third task of “engaging in multi-directional regional diplomacy for peaceful unification,” Minister Yun set out the following: △making tangible progress in the Northeast Asia Peace and Cooperation Initiative and the Eurasia Initiative; and △proactively making use of multilateral consultative.

The ROK will seek to ensure tangible progress in cooperation projects under the Northeast Asia Peace and Cooperation Initiative and the Eurasia Initiative, and make valuable use of them in establishing peace on the Korean Peninsula and paving the way for unification.

The ROK will seek to foster greater international consensus on zero tolerance of North Korea’s nuclear weapons program and on peaceful unification by making valuable use of partnerships with multilateral consultative mechanisms, including ASEAN, ASEM, the Visegrad Group (V4) and MIKTA.

[Strengthening international infrastructure to support unification]

Minister Yun put forward the last task of “strengthening international infrastructure to support unification, and as ways to accomplish this task, presented the following: △increasing global contribution; △establishing the global network for unification; and △engaging in economic diplomacy to build unification capacity.

To increase global contribution, the ROK will faithfully implement its four major development cooperation initiatives: Better Life for Girls, Safe Life for All; Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) for Better Life; and New Rural Development Paradigm. The ROK will also implement unification-oriented humanitarian diplomacy and build development cooperation capacity. The ROK will build even deeper trust at the international level by serving as chair in various mechanisms in the three areas of peace and security; development and climate change; and human rights and culture, ensuring that this trust built in this experience becomes an asset for unification.

The ROK will seek to secure greater support for unification by strengthening strategic dialogues with major countries, such as Australia and India, and fostering mechanisms for dialogue with regional organizations, including the Arab League and the Community of Latin American and Carribean States (CELAC).

The ROK will expand public diplomacy for unification by implementing projects which reflect the particular needs of each region and utilizing the global network of Koreans.

The ROK will support economic revitalization and expand economic networks by strengthening the role played by overseas missions as outposts of economic diplomacy.

The Foreign Ministry will faithfully implement its plans for the year 2016 based on the policy briefing on “response to the North Korean nuclear issue and diplomacy for peaceful unification.” While exerting concerted efforts to respond to North Korea’s provocations, the Ministry will conduct multi-directional diplomacy for peaceful unification in cooperation with the people in order to induce North Korea to change and usher in an era of unification which is supported by the international community.

(Source:  MOFA Republic of Korea)

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