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Moon speaks of the need for independent inter-Korean projects

Moon speaks of the need for independent inter-Korean projects

Posted June. 16, 2020 07:47,   

Updated June. 16, 2020 07:47


South Korean President Moon Jae-in has expressed his wishes to continue inter-Korean economic cooperation to cushion the impact of sanctions against North Korea, despite the recent military threats from it. “I cannot break the promise I made with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in front of 80 million Korean people to bring peace to the Korean Peninsula,” said President Moon Monday. “It is high time the two Koreas work together to make a breakthrough. We can no longer simply wait for the right time to come.”

“We should identify and implement projects for which South and North Korea can make decisions for ourselves as the owners of the Korean Peninsula,” President Moon said in a meeting with his aides at the South Korean presidential office Cheong Wa Dae. “It is also important to continue the efforts to build a consensus among the international community.” This is the first time he addressed North Korea in his remarks after the special speech for the third anniversary of his inauguration on May 10. It appears that he intends to soften the impact of the sanctions against Pyongyang by pushing for projects to connect railways between the two Koreas, reopen the Kaesong industrial complex and resume tours to Mount Kumgang.

“Progress may be slow, but both nations should remain optimistic and take one step after another towards peaceful unification and reconciliation,” Moon said. “On its end, North Korea should not create tension by cutting off communication with the South in an effort to go back to confrontation.” The South Korean president also said he saw the determination and commitment of Kim Jong Un to changing the political landscape on the Korean Peninsula, and it was frustrating for him too to see relations between Washington and Pyongyang and between South and North Korea had not improved as much as expected.

Meanwhile, North Korea continued to criticize South Korea on Monday as well. Rodong Sinmun signaled impending military action by saying that the military will take decisive action to allay the anger of the public.

Sang-Jun Han alwaysj@donga.com · In-Chan Hwang hic@donga.com