2009 Diplomatic White Paper

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1 2009 Diplomatic White Paper

2 Minister s Message The year 2008 was indeed a meaningful year. It marked not only the 60th anniversary of the establishment of the Republic of Korea but also the launch of the Lee Myung-bak administration. It was also a year in which the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade achieved significant results in its diplomacy of creative pragmatism with the aim of realizing a truly Global Korea. First, MOFAT further enhanced bilateral relations with neighboring countries such as the United States, Japan, China and Russia through active summit, developing the alliance with the U.S. into a ROK-U.S. Strategic Alliance for the 21st Century, fostering a Future-oriented Mature Partnership with Japan and elevating relations with China and Russia respectively into a Strategic Cooperative Partnership. We envisage that these efforts will indeed lead to the strengthening of the solid cooperation with these countries, further deepening our friendship with our neighbors.

3 In tandem with these efforts, MOFAT has exerted constant efforts to build a global network through which the ROK can continue to reach out to more countries and further enhance its cooperative ties with them. To this end, the Korean government has been promoting New Asia Initiative with the aim of fostering friendly ties with Asian countries including the ASEAN, whilst at the same time expanding cooperation with Central Asia, Africa and the Middle East, and Latin America and laying the groundwork for cooperation with the EU as we forge a Comprehensive Partnership with the EU. Moreover, through close cooperation with the participants in the SixParty Talks, the ROK has strived for substantial progress in the North Korean nuclear issue in pursuit of permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula. However, it was regrettable that the year came to an end without an agreement on a verification protocol or the completion of the second phase of denuclearization. Korea has also been actively participating in international discussions to address global issues such as climate change and the global financial crisis. In particular, I believe that it is highly meaningful that the ROK has further enhanced its international standing through its active participation in such events as the G-8 Summit Meeting in July and the the G-20 Leaders Summit on Financial Markets and the World Economy in November, playing a bridging role between developed and developing countries and contributing to the discussions on the forging of global governance in the years ahead.

4 In the year 2008, our economy faced many difficulties due to high oil prices and the global financial crisis. Against this backdrop, MOFAT has exerted utmost diplomatic efforts to contribute to revitalizing the economy and creating new engines for sustained growth. In this regard, we strived to build a global FTA network encompassing the EU, India, Canada and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) with a view to expanding trade whilst also actively participating in the process of the WTO Doha Development Agenda negotiations. Furthermore, MOFAT has exerted continued efforts to solidify energy security through the strengthening of energy cooperation with the Middle East, Africa and Central Asia. To this end, it designated 76 embassies as special missions for energy cooperation and reinforced human resources for those embassies. The ROK has also continued to make efforts to ensure that the Low Carbon, Green Growth, which it has embraced as a new paradigm for growth, becomes a full part of its national brand. As part of such efforts, MOFAT plans to pursue a 200 million dollar project for the next five years in order to strengthen cooperation with East Asian countries on climate change. In addition, as part of its emphasis on pragmatic diplomacy, the Ministry has been focusing on providing even more enhanced services. For this purpose, the Ministry has joined the U.S. Visa Waiver Program and has agreed to improve the visa issuance process with Japan and China, which are expected to further facilitate Korean people s travel abroad and promote people-to-people exchanges. The Ministry has also fully established the Work, English Study and Travel (WEST) Program with the United States and agreed to expand and establish working holiday programs with such countries as Japan, France and Germany. Accordingly, it has succeeded in providing increased opportunities for our young people to work and study abroad.

5 Over the last year, MOFAT has taken great steps forward for our people and for our national interest. In this increasingly globalized world, not only pursuing our national interest but also contributing to the peace and co-prosperity of the international community as a whole is emerging as a task of new importance. Against this backdrop, the Ministry will spare no effort in embracing a still more proactive and more creative diplomacy, as it takes the ROK closer to achieving the vision of a truly Global Korea. It is my sincere hope that this Diplomatic White Paper will serve as a useful guide, fostering still greater interest amongst the people in foreign policies and enabling the citizens to gain an even deeper understanding of MOFAT s endeavors and activities. I would humbly request the continued support and encouragement of the Korean people for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. June 2009 Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Yu, Myung-hwan

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