Asean and Seoul can forge new paths to peace and prosperity

Summits in Busan offer a chance to build new links and address common challenges

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Next week, the 2019 Asean-Republic of Korea (ROK) Commemorative Summit and the 1st Mekong-Republic of Korea Summit will be held in Korea from Nov 25 to 27. In particular, as my home town Busan will play host to the events, I am very much looking forward to them - as if I have invited valued guests to my home. I send early greetings in a warm welcome to the heads of state and government as well as to the secretary-general of Asean.

The Republic of Korea was Asean's first dialogue partner to establish an Asean Culture House. Koreans love Asean so much that the National Asean Recreation Forest was created, complete with cabins modelled after various traditional housing styles of the 10 Asean member states. After I took office, I sent a special envoy to Asean out of profound interest in and affection for the region.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 18, 2019, with the headline Asean and Seoul can forge new paths to peace and prosperity. Subscribe