Last July 22, Dr. Jae Hyon Lee, Research Fellow and Director of Center for ASEAN and Oceania Studies at the Asan Institute for Policy Studies, spoke at a joint public forum on The Significance of South Korea’s New Southern Policy (NSP) for the Philippines and ASEAN held in Quezon City.

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Photo from UP Korea Reasearch Center

The forum aimed to analyze the significance of the NSP to the Philippines and ASEAN in the field of defense, security, and economy; to discuss how to strengthen Philippines-Korea defense and security partnership within the framework of NSP; and to forge an institutional partnership between Philippine-based institutions and Korean think tanks.

Accordingto Dr. Lee, the NSP was largely motivated by sanctions from China during the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile system deployment. He discussed the opportunities and limits of the NSP and strategic security cooperation with ASEAN, which he noted is lagging in other areas of cooperation. Hence, he emphasized that strengthening all aspects of the policy (not just economic and socio-cultural) is required to make the NSP successful.

Pathways Maritime Development and Security Program Convenor Capt. Dianne Despi, who earned her Master's Degree in Area Studies (specializing in the Asia-Pacific) at Kyung Hee University, presented the prospects and challenges of the Philippines-Korea Defense cooperation. Capt. Despi suggested to strengthen research and anti-terrorism cooperation. Meanwhile, Dr. Ser Percival Pena-Reyes of Ateneo de Manila University discussed the economic aspect of the NSP, specifically trade integration between South Korea and ASEAN. In this regard, it was observed that more economic synergy is needed to achieve greater economic complementarity.

Following the presentations, Prof. Raisa Lumampao of the UP Department of Political Science and Dr. Ricardo Barcelona of the UP School of Economics gave their respective reactions and observations.

UP Korea Research Center partnered with Pathways’ Regional Integration and Connectivity Program in organizing this event. Convenor Dr. Jed Rabena moderated the forum, while Fellow Prof. Herman Kraft delivered the closing remarks.

Presentations of Dr. Lee and Dr. Pena-Reyes can be accessed here.

Related article: UP KRC and APPFI hold Joint Forum on South Korea’s New Southern Policy