DPRK-U.S. deal on denuclearization can improve inter-Korean relations: S Korean president

2018-04-12 22:31Xinhua Editor: Wang Fan ECNS App Download

South Korean President Moon Jae-in said Thursday that a denuclearization deal between the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) and the United States can only improve inter-Korean relations.

Moon made the remarks during a meeting with the elder advisory group of the presidential preparation committee for the upcoming inter-Korean summit, according to the Blue House.

The advisory group is composed of former ministers, presidential secretaries, intelligence agency chiefs and scholars who helped the former liberal governments under presidents Kim Dae-jung and Roh Moo-hyun hold the first and second inter-Korean summits in 2000 and 2007, respectively.

President Moon agreed to hold the third summit with top DPRK leader Kim Jong Un on April 27 at Peace House, a South Korean building at the border village of Panmunjom.

"With the South-North agreement alone, inter-Korean relations cannot be resolved. The North-U.S. denuclearization agreement must be implemented, and then the inter-Korean relations can be resolved," Moon said.

Moon said South Korea must successfully hold the upcoming summit to help make the DPRK-U.S. summit a success, but he noted that neither of the summits will be easy to address.

The Moon-Kim summit would be followed by the first-ever meeting between Kim and U.S. President Donald Trump estimated in late May or early June.

Moon emphasized that the upcoming inter-Korean summit must be taken advantage of as it is a rare opportunity, which is very hard to come again, to go toward the Korean Peninsula's complete denuclearization, permanent peace settlement and sustainable development of inter-Korean relations.

Citing the past agreements between the two Koreas, including those from the two previous inter-Korean summits, Moon said the upcoming summit can be pushed for only based on the past experiences and achievements.

However, he noted that the current relations between the two Koreas cannot be resolved by the government alone, asking the elder advisory group to help gain support and understanding from the general public.

Moon added that the calling of this era given to South Korea is inheriting peace and prosperity of the peninsula to the next generation, asking precious advices from the advisory group.

Lim Dong-won, a former unification minister and intelligence agency chief who is leading the advisory group, told Moon that he wished this opportunity, created like a miracle, can be taken advantage of to make a great, historical change on the peninsula.

Lim said South Korea can turn a crisis into an opportunity by making the PyeongChang Winter Olympics a peace Olympic, praising Moon's efforts to restore inter-Korean communications channel and lead the inter-Korean summit into a DPRK-U.S. summit.

Signs of detente emerged on the peninsula as Kim, the DPRK leader, expressed willingness in his New Year's speech to participate in the 23rd Winter Olympics, followed by the high-level inter-Korean dialogue in which Pyongyang agreed to send its athletes, cheerleaders and artists as well as political delegations to PyeongChang, an east county of South Korea where the 23rd Winter Olympics was held in February.

In exchange for Kim's dispatch of his younger sister Kim Yo Jong as special envoy to PyeongChang who met with President Moon in Seoul, the South Korean leader sent his special envoys to Pyongyang.

After that, Moon's special envoys visited Washington to convey Kim's willingness to hold a DPRK-U.S. summit, which Trump had agreed for the purpose of the complete denuclearization on the peninsula.

Two former unification ministers with the advisory group proposed to Moon declaring the end of armistice between the two Koreas through the upcoming summits.

The Korean Peninsula remains technically in a state of war as the 1950-53 Korean War ended in armistice, not peace treaty.

Park Jie-won of the Party for Democracy and Peace, a former culture minister who contacted DPRK officials for the 2000 summit, told Moon that Trump's determination and Kim's willingness to implement the denuclearization deal will be important for the denuclearized peninsula.

Park noted that President Moon should safely play an arbitrating role between Trump and Kim with patience as it takes a significant time to achieve the goal of complete denuclearization.


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