The call came at an annual summit with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, known as the ASEAN Plus Three. The regional forum involves the leaders of all 10 ASEAN countries, plus the leaders of South Korea, Japan and China. The meeting came one day after the South Korean leader held a bilateral summit with ASEAN.
"As a result of our long friendship and cooperation despite many difficulties under the (1997 Asian financial) crisis, ASEAN, South Korea, Japan and China have come to account for 30 percent of the global economy. Overcoming the crisis through our joint efforts has become a valuable asset," Moon said in his opening remarks.
"Let us build a community of peace in the East Asian region with our own efforts, which saw us through the Asian financial crisis 20 years ago," he added.
The South Korean leader earlier proposed forming a regional community to ensure peace and co-prosperity.
"President Moon stressed the need to further develop the ASEAN Plus Three that helps protect the lives of people in the region, noting the countries' cooperation played a pivotal role in successfully overcoming the 1997 Asian financial crisis," the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae said.
Moon called for additional efforts to further liberalize trade and deepen economic integration in the region, along with efforts to enhance the countries' joint food security.
"Noting increased cooperation in such areas will contribute to raising the connectivity of ASEAN, President Moon introduced plans to strengthen our cooperation in those areas by expanding exchanges and our support for human resources development," Cheong Wa Dae said in a press release.
The South Korean president also vowed efforts to increase his country's cooperation with Japan and China to help realize forming an East Asian community.
Turning to North Korean issues, Moon asked the ASEAN countries and the two Northeast Asian nations to help peacefully end the nuclear standoff, stressing the need to maintain maximum pressure and sanctions against the communist North.
The South Korean president arrived here on Sunday as part of a three-nation trip that earlier took him to Indonesia and Vietnam.
He is set to later attend the East Asia Summit, involving the 13 countries in the ASEAN Plus Three talks and five other countries, including Russia and the United States.
Moon will return home Wednesday. (Yonhap)