By Kang Gahui and Kim Hwaya
President Moon Jae-in on Sept. 6 wrapped up his three-nation tour of Southeast Asia and headed home for Korea.
Through his visits to Thailand, Myanmar and Laos over six days, he drew support for his New Southern Policy and reaffirmed the active cooperation of the three countries.
The president focused on boosting Korea's cooperative relations with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) amid the realignment of the global value chain due to Japan's export restrictions on Korea.
In Thailand, the first leg of his three-nation tour of Southeast Asia, he decided to expand cooperative projects to prepare for the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
In Myanmar, Seoul and Naypyitaw agreed to launch the so-called Korea Desk, a one-stop service center for Korean businesses within the Myanmar government, as an institutional base to efficiently expand economic cooperation, as well as set up a minister-level joint committee on trade.
In Laos, the last leg of his tour, President Moon announced his "Korea-Mekong Vision" for elevating bilateral relations to the level of a "Korea-Mekong partnership for human-centered peace and prosperity."
President Moon in 2017 had pledged to visit all ten ASEAN member countries within his term, and fulfilled his promise through this three-nation tour.
Presidential economic adviser Joo Hyung-chul said, "(Through this tour), we established the foundation to upgrade the New Southern Policy and further strengthened consensus on building a peace regime on the Korean Peninsula," adding, "We've also completed preparations to successfully host the Korea-ASEAN special summit and the Korea-Mekong summit in November."