Moon Chung-in provides outline for a potential denuclearization deal

Posted on : 2018-04-02 18:58 KST Modified on : 2019-10-19 20:29 KST
The special advisor to Moon Jae-in calls for step-by-step implementation with a freeze of the nuclear program fist
 foreign affairs
foreign affairs

Special presidential advisor for unification, foreign affairs, and national security Moon Chung-in said that while a package deal approach is the basic principle for resolution of the North Korean nuclear issue, its implementation will have to be on a step-by-step basis.

Moon’s remarks came during a keynote speech for a symposium titled “Nuclear Crisis on the Korean Peninsula: Is a Dialogue-Based Solution Possible?” at the Waseda University International Conference Center in Tokyo on Mar. 31.

While acknowledging that there was “no other option but a comprehensive package resolution” for denuclearization, Moon also stressed the need to recognize that implementation of denuclearization will take time and require a step-by-step approach.

“For North Korea’s denuclearization, there will need to be a freeze of the nuclear program first, reporting of nuclear facilities second, an inspection by IAEA [International Atomic Energy Agency] experts third, and verifiable and irreversible dismantlement of nuclear facilities last,” he said.

“These are not things that can be done at all once. It will have to proceed in sequence,” he added.

Stressing that “the principle is a package deal but the implementation will have to be stepwise,” Moon said South Korea will also need to “give what needs to be given and take what should be taken at each step of the way.” He added that the talks will have to be “about the leaders reaching a package deal, and the deal being justified” in working-level discussions.

Moon also noted different schools of thought expressing optimism, pessimism, and skepticism about the upcoming summits.

“Issues involving the Korean Peninsula are going to be decided in the next two to three months. While I do think the inter-Korean summit will be a success, there is some uncertainty where the North Korea-US summit is concerned,” he said.

At the same time, he stressed, “Historically, there are very few examples of failed summits. A summit is [always] dressed up as though it was not a failure.”

“[US President] Donald Trump will be hard-pressed to disrupt things with the midterm elections coming up,” he predicted.

“Instead of excessively demonizing North Korea, we should see North Korea as it is and listen to what it wants,” he suggested.

“In that way, we need to allow for negotiations in a true sense and enable a deal [on denuclearization].”

Special presidential advisor for unification
Special presidential advisor for unification

With the summit taking place early in the Moon Jae-in administration’s term, Moon predicted a possible shuttle diplomacy approach between Seoul and Pyongyang.

“Around two summits a year going ahead could bring considerable advancements [in inter-Korean relations],” he said.

“At least 20 of the 48 exchange and cooperation projects agreed upon in the Inter-Korean Summit Declaration of Oct. 4, 2007, could be pursued irrespective of UN Security Council sanction resolutions,” he noted.

Moon predicted that President Moon Jae-in’s inter-Korean economic community vision “could actually be achieved if these agreement terms are implemented.”

“If North Korea shows concrete steps on denuclearization, the South Korean government could join China and the US in asking the UN for a reduction of sanctions.”

By Cho Ki-weon, Tokyo correspondent

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