Korea Chair Monitor | Vol 4 Issue 12
July 29, 2016
The Korea Chair team takes a biweekly look back at events of interest in Washington, Seoul, and the region from July 14, – July 27, 2016.
Final Issue of the CSIS Korea Chair Monitor
After four years of bi-weekly publication, the CSIS Korea Chair Monitor signs off with this, our last issue. The Monitor team will now be focusing more deeply on our newest project, Beyond Parallel. We extend a sincere thank you to our loyal readers for making the Monitor one of our programs top projects over the years! You can continue to follow our work and exciting new projects at beyondparallel.csis.org and @CSISKoreaChair.
Regional Relations | The 49th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting
From July 24 to 26, ROK minister of foreign affairs Yun Byung-se attended the 23rd ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) in Vientiane, Laos. Yun attended the 49th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) on July 26. The Joint Communique of the 49th AMM was adopted on July 27, and regarding issues on the Korean peninsula, it specified “ASEAN reaffirmed the importance of peace and security in this region and reiterated ASEAN’s support for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula in a peaceful manner.” North Korea minister of foreign affairs Ri Yong-ho also attended the meeting and reaffirmed that North Korea will make continued efforts for security and peace in the international community as a nuclear state.
U.S.-ROK-Japan Officials Meet in Honolulu
On July 13, ROK first vice minister for foreign Affairs Lim Sung-nam and Japanese vice minister for foreign affairs Shinsuke Sugiyama met in Honolulu, Hawai’i, to discuss bilateral relations and cooperation against North Korean provocation. On July 14, U.S. deputy secretary of state Antony Blinken met with Lim and Sugiyama for the fourth deputy-level trilateral meeting, which was also attended by U.S. vice president Joe Biden. To follow up on the meetings, on July 15, ROK special representative for Korean peninsula peace and security affairs Kim Hong-kyun met with U.S. special representative for North Korea policy Sung Kim for a bilateral meeting of head delegates to the Six-Party Talks.
ECONOMICs AND TRADE | BOK Maintains Base Rate and Updates Economic Forecast
On July 14, the Monetary Policy Board of the Bank of Korea (BOK) maintained the base rate at a record low of 1.25 percent in an effort to support economic growth. In a separate report, the BOK Research Department revised down its forecast for ROK GDP growth in 2016 to 2.7 percent from its April forecast of 2.8 percent. On July 26, the BOK Economic Statistics Department released the advance estimates of second quarter GDP showing a 2.3 percent increase compared with second quarter 2015 and 0.7 percent compared with first quarter 2016. While agriculture, forestry, and fishing activity contracted 6.1 percent over the previous quarter, overall GDP growth in the second quarter was supported by 1.3 percent growth in manufacturing, 0.3 percent growth in electricity, gas, and water supply, 0.5 percent growth in construction, and 0.5 percent growth in services.