December 07, 2023

What North Korea gains from participating in the ASEAN Regional Forum

Annual meetings provide a neutral setting for DPRK to share its views, but it no longer sends its foreign minister

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Regional Forum Foreign Ministers' Meeting is one of the few multilateral platforms that North Korea regularly engages with, providing one of the best settings for the DPRK to share its views and engage with other regional countries.

Yet North Korea did not send its foreign minister to this year’s ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), instead sending an ambassador-level representative for the third consecutive year. The DPRK’s foreign minister had represented the country at most of the 22 ARF meetings held since it joined in 2000.