1. The Foreign Ministry held in Singapore on December 12 the 2016 meeting of heads of its diplomatic missions in South Asian and Pacific countries. First Vice Foreign Minister Lim Sung-nam presided over the meeting.
° Vice Minister Lim instructed the participating mission chiefs to inform their host countries that despite the domestic political situation in the Republic of Korea, the country’s foreign policy remains unchanged; to pay close attention to the safety of the Korean residents and travelers in their host countries; and to be unswerving in carrying out their diplomatic activities.
2. At the meeting, the mission chiefs discussed in depth ways for the ROK to cope diplomatically with the rapid changes in the international situation caused by the forthcoming launch of a new US administration and trade protectionist moves, as well as ways to support bids of Korean companies to expand their presence overseas.
° Vice Minister Lim, citing its geographical proximity to; mutual complementarity in terms of politics and security with; economic connectivity with; and cultural similarity to the ROK, called the South Asian and Pacific region an area where the ROK’s national interests are well served. He told the mission chiefs to actively implement diplomatic strategies toward the region in a timely and effective manner.
° The mission chiefs agreed to seek a stronger economic cooperation with major countries in the South Asian and Pacific region and better support bids of Korean companies to expand their presence in foreign markets in efforts to brace for the possibility of economic and trade conflicts to deepen in the global community.
3. Vice Minister Lim asked that, given the unfavorable state of things at home and abroad, the diplomatic missions do their utmost to ensure the safety of Korean residents and travelers overseas.
° The Vice Minister stressed that the diplomatic missions should make best efforts to meet ROK nationals’ high expectations regarding their protection. He mentioned that to that end, the missions should stand ready to provide service at all times; gather information on terrorism- and other safety-related matters in their host countries; and make prompt responses on the ground should an incident or accident occur.
4. The meeting is seen to have served as a very timely opportunity for the ROK diplomatic missions in the South Asian and the Pacific region, which is drawing attention as an emerging market and a geopolitically important area, to seek pre-emptive diplomatic strategies for addressing their challenges.
Source: ROK MoFA