South Korea’s President: Statement on US-North Korea Summit in Hanoi, Vietnam

Moon Jae-in

Opening Remarks by South Korean President Moon Jae-in at Meeting with His Senior Secretaries on February 25, 2019

Expectations for the 2nd North Korea-U.S. Summit and Our Roles

The 2nd North Korea-United States summit is just two days away. All Koreans who aspire to a peaceful and prosperous Republic of Korea are united behind the wish for a successful summit.

The two leaders of North Korea and the United States have traveled to this point on a path that no one else has taken before. President Trump is personally spearheading diplomacy toward North Korea with his bold determination and new diplomatic strategies in order not to repeat past failures in diplomatic efforts to resolve the North Korean nuclear issue. If President Trump succeeds in dissolving the world’s last remaining Cold War rivalry, it will become yet another great feat that will be indelibly recorded in world history.

My Administration will spare no effort in providing full support to and cooperating with President Trump’s novel and audacious diplomatic endeavors aimed at peace on the Korean Peninsula. I also applaud Chairman Kim Jong Un’s resolve to move toward the future front the past by choosing economic development over nuclear arms.

We wish for the success of the summit as an expression of our support for the two leaders because it will serve as a decisive opportunity to resolve the threat of war and other security concerns on the Korean Peninsula as well as to enable us to move toward the age of a peace-driven economy.

Even after overcoming difficulties to get this far, some people are still displeased with improvements in inter-Korean and North Korea-U.S. relations and are trying to drag them down. I urge all of them to discard such biased perspectives, and let’s do our best to seize the opportunity approaching us.

If the upcoming summit produces results, now is the real beginning.

In talks with President Trump over the phone last week, I pledged that the Korean Government will take on any role it can to provide support for the success of the North Korea-U.S. summit.

South Korea on Vietnam Summit
As of now, the ROK-U.S. alliance, inter-Korean relations and the relations between North Korea and the United States are all better than ever before. This also means that there are many more roles that we can play.

As the main stakeholder in Korean Peninsula issues, we will do all we can to see to it that inter-Korean relations and North Korea-U.S. relations create a virtuous cycle and that we can take a path toward denuclearization, permanent peace and mutual prosperity.

If the North Korean economy opens up, neighboring countries, international organizations and global capital will join in its development. In this process, we should not lose the initiative either.

We are the masters of the Korean Peninsula’s destiny. We are now the ones turning the page of history from a time of suffering from colonization, war, division and Cold War rivalry to a time when we lead an era of peace and prosperity.

Standing at the center of history, not the periphery, we will take the lead in preparing for a new Korean Peninsula regime – one that is moving from war and confrontation toward peace and harmony and from factionalism and ideology toward economic prosperity.