Pres. Moon says unconditional dialogue if North Korea halts nuke development and provocations

Posted on : 2017-06-16 13:52 KST Modified on : 2017-06-16 13:52 KST
At event commemorating June 15 Joint Statement, Moon says inter-Korean relations “must be reestablished and developed”
 President Moon Jae-in greets Lee Hee-ho
President Moon Jae-in greets Lee Hee-ho

“A decision by North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons would be a sign that it is willing to implement its agreements with South Korea. If the North halts further provocations with its nuclear weapons and missiles, we’re willing to engage in unconditional dialogue with the North,” President Moon Jae-in said on June 15. “The agreements reached by previous governments, including the July 4 Inter-Korean Joint Statement, the Inter-Korean Basic Agreement, the June 15 Joint Statement and the Oct. 4 Summit Statement, are important assets that must be respected even when the administration changes. The government will handle the inter-Korean agreements of previous administrations under the principle that North and South Korea ought to return to them together.”

“Inter-Korean relations must be reestablished and developed, if only to resolve the crisis we are facing,” Moon said during a congratulatory address in an event marking the 17th anniversary of the June 15 Inter-Korean Joint Statement, which took place in the 63 Building in Yeouido, Seoul, on June 15. It was the first time since 2006 (since former president Roh Moo-hyun, in office 2003-08) for a sitting president to attend this event, which commemorates the inter-Korean summit meeting attended by former president Kim Dae-jung (1998-2003) on June 15, 2000. With his summit with the US approaching at the end of this month, Moon used his congratulatory address to lay out his overarching plan for restoring inter-Korean relations, which have been disrupted by North Korea’s nuclear and missile provocations.

 widow of former President Kim Dae-jung
widow of former President Kim Dae-jung

“Just as Kim Dae-jung managed to develop inter-Korean relations while holding to the principle of not tolerating North Korea’s nuclear weapons and provocations, we must also once again work toward a solution with determination and a daring plan,” Moon said. “I’m willing to sit down for a face-to-face discussion of how we will go about implementing the current inter-Korean agreements. It will be possible to discuss the complete range of issues, including the complete abolition of North Korea’s nuclear program, the establishment of a peace regime on the Korean Peninsula and even the normalization of North Korea’s relations with the US,” he continued, while calling for North Korea to stop committing nuclear and missile provocations. Since his presidential campaign, Moon has said he means to reach a new agreement while respecting previous inter-Korean agreements.

“Considering that North Korea is under sanctions and pressure, we can’t make a new proposal to North Korea [that goes beyond our current stance]. He was emphasizing that we can work with the international community to help North Korea if the North abandons its nuclear weapon development and takes part in dialogue,” a Blue House official said when asked about Moon’s comments.

“We’re in a situation where both the US and North Korea seem willing to engage in dialogue under the right conditions. Taking the initiative to create the conditions for dialogue will be the crux of the new administration’s foreign policy and security,” said an expert on inter-Korean relations who was part of Moon’s presidential campaign.

After making his congratulatory address at an event marking the 17th anniversary of the June 15 Inter-Korean Joint Statement
After making his congratulatory address at an event marking the 17th anniversary of the June 15 Inter-Korean Joint Statement

A large number of figures attended the commemorative event, including Kim Dae-jung’s widow Lee Hee-ho, Minjoo Party leader Choo Mi-ae, Minjoo Party floor leader Woo Won-shik, People’s Party interim leader Park Joo-sun and People’s Party floor leader Kim Dong-cheol.

In a post on his Facebook page, Park Joo-sun even proposed to Moon Jae-in that “The dates of the June 15 Inter-Korean Joint Statement and the Oct. 14 Inter-Korean Summit Statement be designated as national anniversaries.” A resolution has currently been submitted to the National Assembly calling for this designation. “These anniversaries could be designated immediately with the approval of the cabinet,” Park said.

By Lee Jung-ae and Jung In-hwan, staff reporters

Please direct questions or comments to []

button that move to original korean article (클릭시 원문으로 이동하는 버튼)

Most viewed articles