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New ASEAN-Korea Center chief begins role

Kim Hae-yong (ASEAN-Korea Center)
Kim Hae-yong (ASEAN-Korea Center)
Kim Hae-yong, a former South Korean ambassador to Myanmar and New Zealand, officially started his term Friday as the fifth secretary-general of the ASEAN-Korea Center, the organization announced Sunday.

The 64-year-old career diplomat replaces Lee Hyuk for a single three-year term to 2024. His appointment was confirmed during the 13th meeting of the center’s council, held online on Feb. 9.

The secretary-general is a retired career diplomat who served with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs from 1983 to 2017, working as the ambassador to Myanmar from 2011 to 2013 and to New Zealand from 2014 to 2017.

He also served diplomatic roles in Belgium, the European Union, the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, the United States and the UN Office in Geneva. Kim had served as director general for free trade agreement negotiations and minister-counselor at South Korea’s permanent mission to the United Nations in Geneva.

The career diplomat has been teaching international trade law at Dong-A University as a contract professor since 2018.

Upon assuming the position, Kim said he “will spare no effort in strengthening ASEAN-Korea partnership for a more sustainable, thriving, and mutually beneficial future together,” according to the center.

“I am both honored and humbled to represent the ASEAN-Korea Center at this critical time as the two regions join efforts to overcome the COVID-19 crisis and together prepare for powerful post-pandemic transition and cooperation,” he added.

Established in 2009 in Seoul, the ASEAN-Korea Center is an intergovernmental organization committed to boost trade, attract investment, increase tourism and expand cultural and people-to-people exchanges between the member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and South Korea.

The member states include Korea and the 10 ASEAN member states: Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

By Ko Jun-tae (