JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com – Democratic People’s Republic of Korea has expressed its support for Indonesia’s chairmanship of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in 2023, reiterating the commitment to expand cooperation with the bloc in several fields.
“We have the willingness to work closely with Indonesia, the current ASEAN rotating chair,” DPRK’s vice foreign minister for Southeast Asia Pak Sang Gil said in a statement provided by its embassy in Jakarta recently.
“We have always set a great store by the relations with ASEAN and its member states and are willing to expand and develop cooperation with ASEAN across several fields this year that marks the 15th anniversary of our acceding to the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia,” said the vice minister, referring to the non-aggression pact with the regional bloc.
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He said that DPRK joined the ASEAN Regional Forum in July 2000 and acceded to the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia in July 2008.
Since July 2011, the country has been accrediting an ambassador to ASEAN. “We are developing relations with ASEAN and its member states starting from the underlying external ideas of our state -- independence, friendship and peace.”
Indonesia’s role lauded
He said that Indonesia has played an important role of traction in enhancing the pivotal role and international prestige of ASEAN, including initiation of the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific in 2018.
Indonesia has successfully hosted G20 Summit last November in a situation where the interests of great powers are inextricably intertwined.
The vice minister commended President Joko Widodo’s previous statement that ASEAN should not serve as a proxy for anyone else and he would prevent ASEAN from being monopolized by specific forces during the chairmanship this year.