Moon says Seoul to continue to seek denuclearization, permanent peace on Korean Peninsula

SEOUL, President Moon Jae-in said Friday that South Korea will never give up efforts for the denuclearization of the peninsula and establishment of permanent peace in the region, as he underlined the need to revitalize the Korea peace process.
“Even though the Armistice Agreement was signed, without a peace treaty in place, the Korean War has not ended yet, and neither has the pain and sorrow of the war,” Moon said in a prerecorded speech delivered at the Jeju Forum for Peace and Prosperity, an annual international peace forum, held at the southern resort island of Jeju.
Moon added, “Korea will never cease its efforts to end the war for good, achieve denuclearization and establish permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula.”
Moon’s offer is seen as aimed at revitalizing the Korea peace process, which has lost steam since U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un failed to produce a deal in their Hanoi summit early last year.
This time, however, the president did not make a direct mention of a political declaration on ending the 1950-53 Korean War, which he repeatedly suggested in previous speeches on the global stage.
Inter-Korean relations have been in a deadlock despite a series of summit talks between Moon and Kim in 2018. The two Koreas, which fought each other in the Korean War, remain technically in a state of conflict, as the war ended in a truce, not a peace treaty.
Moon noted that South Korea’s hosting of the 2018 PyeongChang Olympic Winter Games, which the North made a surprise decision to participate in, demonstrated how resolute decisions by the two Koreas, together with multilateral cooperation, “can bring peace to the Korean Peninsula and contribute to world peace.”
The president also repeated calls to launch a regional initiative for cooperation on infectious disease control in Northeast Asia — first proposed in Moon’s United Nations General Assembly speech in September — which would include the two Koreas.
“Having gone through human-to-human and domestic animal infectious diseases and natural disasters together, the South and the North have been repeatedly reminded that the two are a single community of life and safety,” Moon said.
Moon argued that the initiative, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, would help save lives while also paving the path toward peace on the Korean Peninsula and in Northeast Asia and beyond.
The president also explained Seoul’s efforts in tackling climate change, highlighting the country’s recently announced goal of going carbon neutral by 2050.
“By investing over 73 trillion won (US$65 billion) in total in the Green New Deal for climate action and a greener economy until 2030, Korea will continue to walk unwaveringly toward achieving carbon neutrality by 2050,” he said.
Moon also explained Seoul’s plan to contribute $10 million to the COVID-19 Vaccines Advance Market Commitment, a multilateral platform designed to fund coronavirus vaccine distribution to developing countries.
“Although it is hard to predict when the pandemic will come to a complete end, we will not be free of the coronavirus until the entire humanity becomes immune to the virus through vaccination,” Moon said.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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