During a Cabinet meeting this morning,. President Moon Jae-in reaffirms his commitment to advancing South Korea's ties with Southeast Asian nations, which is one of his administration's key foreign policy goals.
"The 'New Southern Policy' is the core of South Korea's national development strategy. ASEAN enjoys faster growth and has greater growth potential than any other region around the world. We must open the future of peace and co-prosperity in Asia with ASEAN."
And steps toward that get begin with South Korea's special summit with ASEAN, which starts in the country's southern port city of Busan in two weeks.
In fact, the cabinet meeting today was held in Busan, to raise anticipation for the event and to see how the preparations are going.
President Moon says, the summit will help strengthen future-looking and sustainable cooperation between the two sides.
The president also emphasized free trade for mutual prosperity with ASEAN countries.
As for the signing of R-CEP next year, he anticipated the deal, which would be the world's largest free trade agreement will further expand free trade principles.