President Moon emphasizes that North Korean committed to denuclearization

Posted on : 2018-04-20 18:30 KST Modified on : 2019-10-19 20:29 KST
Withdrawal of US troops from Korean Peninsula not under discussion at present
South Korean President Moon Jae-in meets with the presidents of 46 media companies prior to lunch at the Blue House on Apr. 19. (Blue House Photo Pool)  
South Korean President Moon Jae-in meets with the presidents of 46 media companies prior to lunch at the Blue House on Apr. 19. (Blue House Photo Pool)  

President Moon Jae-in said on Apr. 19 that North Korea was “expressing its commitment to complete denuclearization to the international community,” adding that upcoming inter-Korean and North Korea-US summits will need to be used to “end the armistice regime that has persisted for 65 years and proceed to a declaration of the [Korean] war’s end and signing of a peace agreement.”

Moon’s remarks came during a luncheon at the Blue House that day with 46 presidents from 48 media companies, including the Hankyoreh.

“With North Korea proclaiming its status as a nuclear power, some people have predicted that it will try to negotiate with the US at the level of a freeze or a ban on nuclear proliferation, but North Korea is expressing its commitment to complete denuclearization,” he said.

“I don’t think they’re on a different page from us in terms of the denuclearization concept,” he added.

Moon went on to say that North Korea was “not specifying conditions [for denuclearization] that would be unacceptable to the US, such as withdrawing US Forces Korea.”

“They have only talked about an end to hostile policies toward North Korea and security guarantees for themselves,” he said. It is the first time Moon has directly stated that North Korea did not demand the withdrawal of USFK.

With North Korea adopting a proactive stance on denuclearization, Moon predicted the upcoming inter-Korean and North Korea-US summit would yield results in broader terms.

“It doesn’t seem that it will be that difficult to reach basic agreement in broader terms through the inter-Korean and North Korea-US summits, whether it’s denuclearization, [South and North Korea] establishing a peace regime in the event of denuclearization, normalizing North Korea-US relations, or international assistance for North Korea’s economic development,” he said.

In his remarks, Moon hinted that South and North Korea and the US had already come to at least some consensus on the issues in the question.

“North Korea is showing a proactive commitment to dialogue, and we have been fully sharing information, discussing things, and coordinating with the US,” he said.

On Apr. 18, US President Donald Trump said South and North Korea have his “blessing” in their discussions on ending the Korean War. But Moon cautioned, “If you look at things objectively, we have only just crossed the threshold of dialogue.”

“Beyond the inter-Korean summit, the first-ever summit taking place between North Korea and the US needs to succeed before we can talk about dialogue being a success,” he said.

Moon also repeatedly emphasized the importance of the inter-Korean summit playing a guiding role for the success of the later North Korea-US summit.

“South and North cannot generate progress irrespective of the North Korea-US summit, nor can they reach an agreement past international sanctions, so there isn’t really a lot the two sides can agree separately,” he said.

“The inter-Korean summit needs to provide a good beginning, and momentum has to be generated for continued dialogue based on the outcome of the North Korea-US summit,” he suggested.

Moon also appealed to the press to cooperate across divisions of “progressive” and “conservative.”

“I don’t think the ultimate goal of South and North Korea’s prosperity is a ‘conservative’ or ‘progressive’ issue,” he said.

“I believe the two summits will be successful, and the complete denuclearization and establishment of permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula will come faster, when the press harnesses public opinion and serves as a guide for peace on the peninsula.”

By Seong Yeon-cheol, staff reporter

Please direct questions or comments to []

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

Related stories

Most viewed articles