JAKARTA -- South Korea will not join an Indo-Pacific regime, at least for now, a ranking South Korean official said Thursday.
The clear rejection came one day after US President Donald Trump noted the Korea-US alliance was helping ensure peace and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region in a joint statement summarizing his earlier summit with South Korean President Moon Jae-in in Seoul.
"President Trump highlighted that the United States-Republic of Korea Alliance, built upon mutual trust and shared values of freedom, democracy, human rights, and the rule of law, remains a linchpin for security, stability, and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific," the joint statement said.
An official from Seoul's presidential office Cheong Wa Dae pointed out the view included in the joint statement was Trump's own.
"As you can see in the statement released yesterday, that part was not jointly mentioned by President Moon and President Trump. It was said by President Trump and President Moon decided not to put his name down for that part, frankly because it was a new concept he had heard for the first time," the official told reporters, speaking on condition of anonymity.
The official noted that the idea of forming an alliance or a regional bloc in the Indo-Pacific area was first proposed and promoted by Japan.
"We listened to what President Trump had to say, and that was simply that because we believe it would not be desirable for us to take part in such a regime for now, considering current global conditions and issues," the official said.
"We have never reviewed the idea, and it is not something we can say whether we agree with or not at the moment." (Yonhap)