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[Sponsored Report] Remarks to mark Singapore’s 53rd National Day

Ambassador Yip Wei Kiat discusses ASEAN, summit in speech
Aug 23,2018
Yip Wei Kiat
His Excellency Hong Jong-haak, distinguished guests, colleagues from the diplomatic corps,

Good evening and thank you for joining us to mark Singapore’s 53rd National Day.

It is said that a picture is worth a thousand words. So I have behind me three images to highlight what a special year 2018 has been for Singapore and for our relations with South Korea.

Singapore is the ASEAN Chair for 2018. We have chosen the themes of “resilience” and “innovation” to reinforce ASEAN’s on-going efforts to build a strong and united community that can respond effectively to the challenges in the coming decade. As the global political and security landscape become increasingly complex, we need resilience in addressing issues such as radicalism, extremism and cybersecurity. At the same time, we have to embrace innovation and press ahead with regional integration in order to ride the upcoming digital revolution. To achieve this, ASEAN needs to coordinate closely with our external partners.

It is for this reason that Singapore fully supports South Korea’s New Southern Policy. When President Moon Jae-in made a state visit to Singapore last month, he reiterated his intention to elevate relations with the ASEAN countries through more regular contact among the peoples of the two regions and to engage in more substantive cooperation to promote peace and co-prosperity. In fact, we are already making good progress in terms of increasing bilateral interactions. Recently, the aviation authorities of our two countries agreed to open up direct flights between Singapore and Busan.

We expect our airlines to launch this new service within the next few months.

During President Moon’s visit, our two countries also signed several agreements to strengthen cooperation in different fields. Minister Hong was personally involved in the conclusion of a MOU to encourage the SMEs of both countries to jointly explore opportunities in the region. Over the last few weeks, we have already seen positive results in the form of new collaborations between Singapore and Korean businesses. I would like to take this opportunity to convey to Minister Hong my appreciation for his strong personal support for the strengthening of relations between Singapore and South Korea.

Another major achievement for Singapore this year was the hosting of the summit between President Donald Trump and Chairman Kim Jong-un, which took place on 12 June. Since the beginning of this year, we have witnessed a tremendous transformation in the situation on the Korean Peninsula.

Much credit has to go to President Moon and the South Korean government for their perseverance in creating the conducive conditions for dialogue through the PyeongChang Winter Olympics and the two inter-Korea summits in April and May.

Peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula has far-reaching implications beyond Northeast Asia. Singapore is honoured to have been called upon to host the historical summit between the US and North Korea.

We are happy to be able to make a small contribution to the dialogue that will hopefully move the process in the right direction. Singapore will continue to work closely with South Korea and the international community to achieve lasting peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula.

Ladies and gentlemen, Thank you!

By Kim Ha-eun [kim.haeun@joongang.co.kr]
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