North Korea officially requested a formal partnership with Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Malaysian Foreign Affairs secretary-general Datuk Othman Hashim said. Norway, Ecuador and Mongolia are also seeking formal partnership with 10-nations ASEAN group.
“There are different categories of formal partnerships, so each application will have to go through an evaluation process to decide which type of engagement is more suited for the applicants,” Othman told reporters at the sidelines of ASEAN Senior Official’s Meeting as quoted by Malaysian The Star.
Australia, Canada, China, European Union, India, Japan, New Zealand, Russia, South Korea, United States and Pakistan have dialogue partnerships with ASEAN.
On the other hand, Timor Leste has applied to become a member of ASEAN. At present, ASEAN is composed of Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
ASEAN Summit 2015 is currently being held in Malaysia.