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(LEAD) Moon calls for stronger cooperation to end pandemic at ASEAN summit with Japan, China

22:45 October 27, 2021

(ATTN: ADDS Moon's remarks at EAS in last 4 paras, new photo)
By Kim Deok-hyun

SEOUL, Oct. 27 (Yonhap) -- South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Wednesday urged the leaders of Southeast Asian countries, as well as Japan and China, to step up their regional cooperation to help the world end the COVID-19 pandemic, his office said.

Moon also reaffirmed the need for stronger regional cooperation to jointly address challenges posed by the pandemic and establish a more resilient and sustainable future, according to Cheong Wa Dae.

During his opening remarks at the annual Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Plus Three Summit, Moon said free trade and multilateral trade agreements are important to restore pandemic-disrupted global supply chains.

"As an axis of global vaccine production, the Republic of Korea will make its best efforts for a fair and swift supply of vaccines," Moon said.

Other attendees included Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang.

It set the stage for Moon's first meeting with Kishida, albeit via video links, since he became Japan's prime minister.

This week's summits organized by the ASEAN have focused on how to step up cooperation to cope with public health crises, such as COVID-19, and regional solidarity in a post-pandemic era.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in speaks via videoconference during a virtual summit with the leaders of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), China and Japan at the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae in Seoul on Oct. 27, 2021. (Yonhap)

Later in the day, Moon attended a broader ASEAN-hosted session, called the East Asia Summit (EAS), which includes the United States, Russia, Australia, India and New Zealand.

In the session, held via videoconference as well, he put forward a pair of suggestions for "solidarity and cooperation" against the coronavirus and for peace on the Korean Peninsula and in East Asia.

Moon also expressed South Korea's willingness to restore supply chains and promote economic recovery in the Asia-Pacific region, the presidential office said.

He also asked the 18 member states of the EAS to support Seoul's efforts to resume talks with Pyongyang and its goal of making the Korean Peninsula nuclear-free, it said.

Moon attends virtual East Asian Summit

kdh@yna.co.kr
(END)

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