President Moon Jae-in concluded his 8-day Southeast Asia tour on Tuesday evening in the Philippines where his last engagement was a meeting with Korean residents.
During his tour, the president attended several multilateral summit meetings and held one-on-one talks with heads of states that included discussions on North Korea.
First, Moon visited Indonesia from November 8th to the 10th. During summit talks with Indonesian President Joko Widodo, the two sides elevated their existing strategic partnership ties to a "special status" and agreed to push for a new dialogue channel.
They also agreed to a goal of realizing bilateral trade volume of 30 billion dollars by 2022.
The two sides also expressed grave concern over North Korea and urged the North to fully implement UN Security Council resolutions.
President Moon's next destination was Vietnam where he attended the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Da Nang. The summit adopted the Da Nang Declaration that stressed APEC's support for a "free, open, fair, transparent and inclusive multilateral trade system.”
Moon also held summit talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Vietnam which drew particular attention. The two agreed to put the THAAD deployment dispute behind them and swiftly normalize bilateral exchanges in all areas.
The Korean leader then flew to the Philippines where he attended the ASEAN Plus Three summit as well as the East Asia Summit, and discussed the North Korea nuclear issue and regional security concerns.
Moon also held bilateral talks with Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.
A notable achievement of the president's tour is the normalization of ties with China. Moon met with President Xi and Prime Minister Li and agreed to fully restore bilateral relations.
Moon mentioned that South Korean firms suffered due to the THAAD conflict and asked for Beijing's cooperation in facilitating economic, cultural and tourist exchanges between the two countries.
Moon also promised to visit China next month for summit talks with Xi.
Regarding his Asia tour, the president noted that South Korea's diplomacy has been centered on four nations - the U.S., Japan, China and Russia. But he vowed to upgrade exchanges with the ASEAN bloc to the same level as the four powers.
He said the latest tour laid the groundwork to expand Korea's economic boundary northward and southward and become part of a multilateral security regime.