About Us Republic of Korea

Statement by H.E. Mr. Kim Sung-han

2nd Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade 

Republic of Korea

Mr. Chairman,

Distinguished Delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen, 

I am indeed pleased and honored to participate, on behalf of the Government of the Republic of Korea, in the Fourth Meeting of the CICA Ministers of Foreign Affairs, to mark its twentieth anniversary.

I would like to begin by extending my sincere gratitude to the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Republic of Turkey, and the CICA Secretariat for their meticulous efforts to ensure the success of the meeting, which will mark a new chapter in the history of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia (CICA). I also very much appreciate the warm hospitality they have extended to our delegation. 

Let me now take a moment to go back to 20 years ago when CICA first appeared in the international community. CICA was established in 1992 on the initiative of H.E. Nazarbayev, President of Kazakhstan as a multilateral security cooperation mechanism in Asia aiming to promote and strengthen peace, security and stability in the region.

To us, ‘20 years’ means becoming a full grown adult and entering the most energetic and dynamic age in our lives. Likewise, ‘20 years’ also has special meaning for CICA.

Over the 20 years, CICA has continued to play a significant role as a crucial channel for dialogue among its member countries, to enhance mutual understanding through an earnest exchange of views and active debates on major issues and matters of common interest. 

In particular, Kazakhstan, the pioneer country of CICA, and Turkey, the current chair country, have demonstrated dedicated leadership in continuously seeking for measures to enhance confidence building in the following five dimensions which includes economy, environment, new challenges and threats, human and the military-political dimension.

Furthermore, the number of member countries of CICA has also increased from 16, at its launch, to 24. Moreover, it has also actively expanded its scope of activities by pursuing exchanges and cooperation with other regions and international institutions.

Based on the accumulated experience of cooperation of CICA, I look forward to an even more advanced CICA process, respecting diversity and voluntary approach of its members.

The Korean Government, after joining CICA in 2006, has been participating in various activities by hosting a Special Working Group and Senior Officials Committee meeting in 2008, and seminars on the ‘Energy Security’ in 2009 and ‘IT Cooperation’ in 2010 as a coordinating country. We will continue to exert full efforts to look into possible ways to contribute to the ongoing progress of CICA, including voluntary financial contributions to the Secretariat.

Despite the ongoing global difficulties such as the Eurozone Crisis and political instability in the Middle East and North Africa, the Asian region has demonstrated remarkable economic growth and the potential for future development, steadily emerging as a world political and economic hub. 

However, history proves that growth and development cannot be maintained without peace and stability. In this regard, conflicts and factors of instability in the region persist, resulting from the legacy of the past and issues stemming from history which have not yet been resolved. The fact that these negative elements may come to the surface at any time is a source of grave concern.

While Asia is a source of great dynamism, playing a leading role in the 21st century, it faces political tensions and vulnerabilities arising from history. There is clearly a need for the stable management of conflicts, at the same time, pursuing proactive common responses to the various challenges and threats that we are facing.

To respond to these needs, it is imperative to foster an open-minded approach and mutual trust among all the states, no matter how much time and effort we have to expend.

The North Korean nuclear issue is a major concern which represents a threat not only to the peace on the Korean Peninsula and Northeast Asia, but indeed the very basis of the international non-proliferation regime. Bearing this in mind, we strongly urge North Korea to refrain from any additional provocation, and demonstrate a sincere willingness for denuclearization.

The Korean Government will keep the window of opportunity open to North Korea, adhering to the basic principle that we address the issues through dialogue. We strongly hope that North Korea shall behave responsibly for peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula by taking concrete and substantial measures to stabilize the livelihood of its own people and strive through the economic hardship.

If I may, I would humbly request your continued attention and support for our endeavors to resolve the ongoing issues on the Korean Peninsula.

I would like to once again offer my sincere congratulations on the 20th Anniversary of CICA. Also I would like to bring my remarks to a close by saying that I have every confidence that this meeting will provide a valuable opportunity to reaffirm the mutual confidence and friendship, consolidating the ties among the members as the first step towards the next 20 years of the history of CICA.

Thank you for your attention.