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Democracy Summit 'not' excluding particular countries: Yoon's office

By Shin Ji-hye

Published : March 23, 2023 - 15:38

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President Yoon Suk Yeol (Yonhap) President Yoon Suk Yeol (Yonhap)

The presidential office said Thursday that the upcoming Summit for Democracy to be attended by South Korean leader Yoon Suk Yeol is not meant to exclude any particular country, when asked about China's potential opposition to Taiwan's participation in the meeting.

A senior official told reporters that the selection of participating countries goes through a process in which the host country, the US, reviews various factors and finalizes them through discussions with the other co-host countries.

“The selection process is not targeted at any specific country and is not intended to create confrontation between blocs,” he said on the condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the matter.

The second Summit for Democracy will be held on a virtual setting for two days starting on March 29, and it will be co-hosted by President Yoon at the request of President Biden.

The first meeting of the Democracy Summit was held in 2021, and Taiwan's participation in that meeting sparked backlash from China. This summit is known as a meeting led by the US administration of Joe Biden to discuss challenges faced by democracies globally, including challenges posed by China and Russia.

The senior official said that the summit aims to hold discussions between heads of state and ministers on “how to achieve the development of democracy,” which is a universal issue faced by mankind, “from an institutional and values perspective.”

On March 29, Yoon will give a joint opening speech at the virtual meeting with Biden and other leaders of co-host countries, including the US, the Netherlands, Costa Rica and Zambia.

After the opening ceremony, he will preside over the first session of the summit, which will focus on the theme of prosperity and economic growth. This session will provide an opportunity for leaders to discuss strategies for promoting economic growth and prosperity while upholding democratic values and principles.

At the regional representative meeting held by ministers the following day, Korea will make a presentation on the theme of challenges and achievements in countering corruption on behalf of the Indo-Pacific region. This presentation will offer insights and perspectives on the region's efforts to address corruption and promote transparency and accountability in governance

National Security Advisor Kim Sung-han said at a press briefing that Korea's co-hosting of the summit “demonstrates its leadership in resolving the issue of democracy retreat, which is a global issue.”

“The summit will enhance South Korea’s international leadership and national prestige by demonstrating its commitment to norms and values on the international stage,” he added.

The second Summit for Democracy has invited approximately 110 countries to participate, along with international organizations such as the United Nations.