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Choi Jong-Kun
1st Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs,
Republic of Korea


I would like to sincerely congratulate the hosting of the ASEAN-Korea Music Festival 'ROUND 2020', a festival of musicians and fans from Korea and ASEAN brought together.

Against the backdrop of restricted travel and face-to-face meetings due to COVID-19, the first online streaming format of ASEAN-Korea Music Festival 'ROUND 2020' is even more significant. I express my gratitude to all those who have prepared avenue for the 10 ASEAN countries and Korea to enjoy the universal language of music and share the meaning of solidarity and cooperation.

For Korea, ASEAN is an important partner, solidifying our friendship through sharing medical supplies since the outset of COVID-19. On the 10th anniversary of the establishment of “Strategic Partnership” between Korea and ASEAN, President Moon Jae-in announced the “New Southern Policy Plus,” further strengthening the New Southern Policy at the ASEAN-ROK Summit last month. It is a demonstration of Korea’s resolve to overcome the pandemic crisis together with ASEAN and continue our journey toward a people-centered community of peace and prosperity.

In particular, the “New Southern Policy Plus” includes initiatives to promote interactive cultural exchanges even in non-contact settings. Instead of disconnecting, we will overcome these challenging time by the power of stronger cultural exchange, just like the slogan of the music festival “Re:Connect Each Other.” Mutual cultural exchanges mobilizing creative ideas are expected to serve as a bridge reconnecting Korea and ASEAN in the post COVID-19 era.

I hope that all who participate in today’s festival share passion, find comfort and entertainment in music that transcends language, borders and media. And I hope more projects on cultural exchange continue, thus building up friendship and mutual trust between Korea and ASEAN and connecting our hearts in a round circle to carry on the spirit of solidarity and cooperation.

Thank you.