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“International Cooperation and Support for Denuclearization and a Permanent Peace Regime on the Korean Peninsula”

Establishing 'peace making' - beyond 'peace keeping'

South and North Korean leaders' efforts for peace a new commitment to open up a new era

North Korea's reform and opening up to lead a shared prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region

International Cooperation and Support for Denuclea

Republic of Korean Minister of National Defense Song Young-moo called for international cooperation, participation and support for the 'establishment of denuclearization and a permanent peace regime on the Korean Peninsula' at a meeting attended by defense ministers and key officials from major countries around the world. "We call for international cooperation on integrated diplomatic efforts for successful denuclearization in North Korea," Minister Song said in his speech at a plenary session of the three-day forum, the 17th Asian Security Summit that is also known as the Shangri-La Dialogue. Citing the saying 'if you want to go far, go together,' he stressed that the Moon Jae-in government wants to go together with other countries around the world, no matter how long and arduous the journey ahead, in order to make this opportunity that has been obtained through continuous efforts serve as momentum for building peace and prosperity that goes beyond the Korean Peninsula to the Asia-Pacific region.

Minister Song said, “After the success of the South and North Korea Summit, a path for peaceful denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula has opened up, and Northeast Asia is facing a new era of diplomacy.' He also predicted, “North Korea has suspended its nuclear and missile tests, and has dismantled the Punggye-ri nuclear test site. I have no doubt that the U.S. and North Korea Summit will take place, because the leaders of the U.S. and North Korea both intend to have a direct conversation with each other to achieve the permanent denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. Both countries are supporting the summit.”

Minister Song then explained the Republic of Korean government's principles in seeking peace and prosperity of the Korean Peninsula. He said, “Our government will do its utmost in the journey for reconciliation and cooperation between South and North Korea, and the peace and prosperity of the Korean Peninsula. We will accomplish a 'peace making' process that goes beyond 'peace keeping.'" He then added, “Recognizing the gap between the two Koreas, we will not seek to take advantage in North Korea through corruption, unification by absorption, or artificial unification,” adding that, “We will seek prosperity together with our neighboring countries, and lead with the support of the international community for the peaceful unification of the Korean Peninsula.”

Minister Song also asked the participant countries for support, saying that denuclearization and building a peace regime on the Korean Peninsula will greatly contribute to regional security. “Denuclearization and building a peace regime on the Korean Peninsula is one of our common security issues, and beyond the Korean Peninsula has a great influence on regional and international peace and prosperity. If North Korea, which officially claimed its 'economy-first policy' is pushing forward reform and door opening in earnest, the economy and financial system of the Asia-Pacific region with 4.4 billion people will become more dynamic and this will lead us on a path toward common prosperity,” he said, with some passion.

During a question and answer session, Minister Song also reiterated the international community's understanding of denuclearization in North Korea. Some questioned the trustworthiness of North Korea's declaration of denuclearization. He replied, “If we believe North Korea will trick us in the future as it did in the past, how can we negotiate with them and make peace? In a journey towards the future, we hope the international community can understand North Korea's tremendous resolution from the perspective of ensuring the commitment. We also hope that the South and North Korean leaders' efforts for peace can be understood as a new commitment to open up a new era.” He also said, “Instead of supporting North Korea with a focus on its efforts to become a member of the international community, if we start to suspect North Korea's motives, then it becomes difficult to move forward.” He then called for the international community's support, cooperation and participation, saying that there will come a time when Chairman Kim Jong-un realizes that he made the right decision if we are active in helping and understanding North Korea.

By Su-Yeol, Maeng < >

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