President Moon Jae-in and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe held a summit followed by a luncheon meeting that lasted for two hours from 1:00 o’clock this afternoon. They discussed ways to advance Korea-Japan ties and promote peace on the Korean Peninsula.
The two leaders began by noting the results of the recent inter-Korean summit. They concurred on the need to communicate and cooperate with each other more closely for the sake of the success of the upcoming North Korea-United States summit, through which to make it possible to achieve the complete denuclearization and the settlement of permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula.
Prime Minister Abe said that timing is important when it comes to easing or lifting sanctions against North Korea. He went on to say that the North should not be rewarded only for closing down its nuclear test site in Punggye-ri or not firing intercontinental ballistic missiles. He continued that additional concrete action by the North is needed.
Mentioning possible voices of concern over Korea's arbitrary easing of sanctions against North Korea without any resolution by the international community, President Moon said that there was no need to worry at all. The President explained that there had been consultations to ensure that assistance concerning transportation, accommodation and equipment for the North Korean Olympic squad during the PyeongChang Winter Olympics did not violate sanctions imposed by the United Nations or the United States. Saying that it was impossible for the South to arbitrarily push for economic cooperation with the North, the President added that now the reunion of separated families as well as projects related to forestation, pest control and prevention of forest fire could be carried out within the scope of not breaching sanctions.
The two leaders also discussed how to settle permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula.
After mentioning the Panmunjeom Declaration that outlined the plans to declare the end of the Korean War and sign a peace treaty, Prime Minister Abe said that a guarantee of regional security, which was crucial in establishing a peace regime, had to be included. The Prime Minister added that Japan hoped to engage in discussions on a security guarantee for Northeast Asia.
In response, President Moon said a peace treaty was supposed to be settled between warring parties but in a broader sense, Japan certainly had to participate and cooperate in establishing a peace regime on the Korean Peninsula and in Northeast Asia.
Prime Minister Abe also mentioned Japanese abductees in North Korea, including Megumi Yokota, and asked for Korea’s assistance in solving the issue immediately.
President Moon replied that he understood how important the issue of Japanese abductees was in normalizing diplomatic relations between North Korea and Japan, adding that he would make his utmost efforts to help solve the issue smoothly.
At the end of the luncheon meeting, Prime Minister Abe gave President Moon a pleasant surprise by serving a cake to mark the first anniversary of his inauguration. The two leaders shook hands with each other, and other attendees gave a round of applause to congratulate the President on the first anniversary.