South Korean President Moon Jae-in hopes to be able to secure an end to the Korean War and a declaration of peace with North Korea within the year, Moon told an Indonesian newspaper on Friday.
During an interview with the newspaper, Kompas, Moon was asked about his current inter-Korean policy goals. The President said that it is essential to “implement the agreements among the leaders with sincerity”, citing both the Panmunjom Declaration and the U.S.-DPRK joint statement at the Singapore Summit.
“As a substantive step of building confidence, it would be greater to declare an end to the War — which declares the termination of hostile relations — on the occasion of the 65th anniversary of the Armistice Agreement,” Moon said.
Moon emphasized the “most fundamental” part of his policy is to rule out a possibility of war on the Korean peninsula and that he hopes to make “irrevocable progress” on the establishment of a peace regime and the denuclearization of North Korea.
While he appeared to focus on the ending of the war and not necessarily denuclearization as an immediate priority, a Blue House spokesperson later clarified that Moon is focused on both of the goals.
“My understanding is that [Moon] intends to mean that he will make substantial progress in the two goals,” spokesperson Kim Eui-keum said.
Pyongyang agrees with Seoul’s position regarding a declaration to end the war, saying it would be a “political declaration and the first step to building confidence among the concerned parties.”
In a step towards solidifying the Panmunjom Declaration, the Blue House on Friday also announced its plan to submit a motion to the South Korean National Assembly seeking the ratification of the agreement next week.
The Moon administration is set to submit the bill along with estimated costs to implement the Panmunjom Declaration after it passes a Cabinet meeting next Tuesday.
President Moon has called for “institutionalizing” the inter-Korean agreement based on the ratification of the bill by the National Assembly for its perpetual implementation regardless of changes in the political situation. The aim is to make the inter-Korean agreement irreversible.
The ROK President’s interview was released one day after Director of National Security Chung Eui-yong said Kim Jong Un expressed his will – during his meeting with South Korean special envoys – to achieve denuclearization within U.S. President Donald Trump’s first term.
Friday saw the ROK presidential spokesperson say that North and South Korean leaders shared the view that a process for the denuclearization and the establishment of peace regime should be “accelerated.”
Kim Eui-keum added the Moon administration expects that Trump and ROK officials will take corresponding measures after “seriously deliberating” upon Kim’s comments during the meeting.
In the efforts to share the outcome of the trip to Pyongyang, President Moon on Friday instructed Chung and Director of the National Intelligence Service (NIS) Suh Hoon to visit China and Japan for the purpose of debriefing both countries on the outcome of their visit to Pyongyang.
Chung is scheduled to meet Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi on Saturday while Suh is due to pay a courtesy visit to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the South Korean presidential spokesperson told a press briefing.
Featured Image: Blue House
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