Over the last weekend, Vice Chairman of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea Kim Yong Chol visited the United States for high-level talks and paid a courtesy visit to U.S. President Donald Trump. I've heard positive assessments from the American side that both the United States and North Korea were satisfied with the outcome of the talks. Notably, President Trump commented that much progress had been made in denuclearization and other issues. Working-level talks are underway in Sweden with South Korean officials also in attendance. This is all good news to brighten the prospects of a second summit between North Korea and the United States slated to be held at the end of February this year.
I wonder what my fellow Koreans think watching these developments. Our primary concern at the moment is the outcome of the 2nd North Korea-U.S. summit. We have no way of knowing the results of the upcoming summit in advance, but what is crystal clear now is the fact that the international political situation surrounding the Korean Peninsula is rapidly changing. It has taken 65 years since the 1953 armistice to have such an opportunity; it will never come again. We cannot afford to let this opportunity slip by. In the process, we must address the North Korean nuclear issue in a peaceful manner. We have to build unwavering peace and strive to ensure that peace brings opportunities for our economy.
There may be numerous ideas regarding the concrete measures to reach that goal, but I hope that the people will stand in unison on the overall direction and objective. I also hope that politicians will approach the issue in a nonpartisan manner from the perspective of the nation’s great cause.
There could be doubts over whether it will actually bear fruit in the end. However, that is our role: to ensure that it does bear fruit in the end. We are not bystanders. We have worked together to come this far. In making sure that it eventually succeeds, we must fulfill our share, and that share which we can fulfill is significant. That is because the issue is more pressing for us than any other county in the world. The future of our country and people depends on it.
I’d like you to compare what it was like just a year ago to the miraculous change last September and imagine still greater transformation in the years to come. I also hope that you will look back on what we have gained in the past year and imagine what we can achieve through such a transformation. To make such thinking a reality, it is essential to unite the public and move away from the old mind frame in which inter-Korean relations were politically exploited. If the people support this, the Government will turn these thoughts into a reality without fail. I will help build a foundation on which peace brings opportunities for our economy.