S. Korea unveils details of Indo-Pacific strategy

SEOUL– South Korea on Wednesday unveiled the details of its Indo-Pacific strategy, with a focus on promoting freedom, peace and prosperity through the establishment of a rules-based order and cooperation on human rights.

In its final report on the strategy, the government said it will pursue nine core lines of effort to fulfill its vision for a free, peaceful and prosperous Indo-Pacific region under the three cooperation principles of inclusiveness, trust and reciprocity.

The nine include building a regional order based on norms and rules; cooperating to promote the rule of law and human rights; strengthening nonproliferation and counterterrorism efforts across the region; and expanding comprehensive security cooperation.
The remaining five are building economic security networks; strengthening cooperation in critical domains of science and technology and closing the digital gap; leading regional cooperation on climate change and energy security; engaging in “contributive diplomacy” through tailored development cooperation partnerships; and promoting mutual understanding and exchanges.

The presidential office said the strategy projects the values of freedom and solidarity — values emphasized by President Yoon Suk Yeol during his inauguration speech and in his address to the U.N. General Assembly — onto the Indo-Pacific region.

“The Yoon Suk Yeol government’s Indo-Pacific strategy will become a milestone in securing the values and national interests sought by the Republic of Korea and in expanding the horizon of our foreign policy in an Indo-Pacific region whose strategic importance is growing by the day and where causes for challenges lie,” the office said.

The final report comes about a month after Yoon announced the basic outlines of the strategy during a summit with Southeast Asian leaders in Cambodia.

It is South Korea’s first comprehensive regional strategy and encapsulates the country’s commitment to broadening its diplomatic space and increasing its role and contributions to the region in line with its enhanced status and expectations from the international community, according to the office.

The strategy has widely been regarded as signaling Seoul’s alignment with Washington in a region marked by an intensifying U.S.-China rivalry.

The presidential office denied, however, that the strategy seeks to exclude or contain a particular nation.

“With China, a key partner for achieving prosperity and peace in the Indo-Pacific region, we will nurture a sounder and more mature relationship as we pursue shared interests based on mutual respect and reciprocity, guided by international norms and rules,” the report said.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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