President Moon Jae-in met with Matti Vanhanen, Speaker of the Parliament of Finland, and the leaders of parliamentary groups at the Parliament House for 40 minutes from 3:00 p.m. (local time).
President Moon began by saying, “I am pleased to make a state visit to Finland and visit the Parliament House, home for Finland’s democracy. I am grateful to you all for warmly welcoming me and my delegation despite your busy schedules.”
President Moon went on to say that he was glad to meet the Speaker, who once visited Korea while serving as Prime Minister and has a longstanding relationship with Korea. The President also congratulated him on his election as Speaker of the Parliament together with the recent launch of a new coalition government after a successful conclusion of negotiations among five political parties to forge an alliance.
President Moon added, “When I see collaborative governance displayed by the Parliament and political parties of Finland, I cannot help but marvel at the maturity of your democracy.” He also noted, “I understand that the Finnish Parliament has played a great part in the process of Finland evolving into a nation that leads the world in terms of welfare and the first European country to grant complete suffrage to women.”
Speaker Vanhanen said it is an honor that President Moon has paid a state visit to his country and added that the Speaker of the Parliament of Finland and its Vice Speaker had visited Korea two years ago and this February, respectively. He also noted that lawmakers from the Korea-Finland Friendship Association are interacting with each other and cooperating to resolve issues affecting the whole world. He then expressed his profound interest in the peace process on the Korean Peninsula.
President Moon said, "I agree with the idea that inter-parliamentary cooperation has to be expanded. I look forward to your interest in and support for promoting inter-parliamentary exchanges between our two countries."
President Moon continued, "I express my appreciation for the Finnish Government's steadfast and consistent support for my Administration's endeavors to achieve complete denuclearization and establish permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula. I am also grateful to Finland for having set the stage for a track II dialogue among the two Koreas and the United States. Thanks to cooperation from Finland and the international community, we have seen significant progress in the peace process on the Korean Peninsula: South and North Korea agreed to prohibit the use of force and cease acts of hostility toward each other, which has greatly helped alleviate military tension between the two sides."
President Moon said, “The U.S. President met the North Korean leader in person and negotiated over denuclearization, and it was something unprecedented between North Korea and the United States. There have been two North Korea-U.S. summits. Although the Hanoi summit ended without an agreement, President Trump and Chairman Kim Jong Un have continued to show a willingness for dialogue.” The President went on to say, “The peace process to overcome 70 years of hostility is never easy, but as seen in the Helsinki Process, we have to make preparations with patience and perseverance for an extended time. I ask for continued interest and support from Finland until the peace process on the Korean Peninsula finally succeeds.”
Speaker Vanhanen and representatives from parliamentary groups highly praised the Korean Government’s efforts regarding the Korean Peninsula peace process. They also congratulated the success of the PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games, which proved to be a milestone for promoting peace.