Last week’s ROK-U.S. Summit provided the ground for close strategic dialogue between allies on how to steadily implement the peace process on the Korean Peninsula by eliminating the uncertainties posed in the wake of the 2nd U.S.-DPRK Summit in Hanoi and reviving the momentum of dialogue between the United States and the DPRK.
I had an extensive exchange of views with President Trump, and with key officials in his administration.
The Republic of Korea and the United States reaffirmed the common goals of achieving complete denuclearization and establishing permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula through a diplomatic solution, and also resolved to work together to resume the dialogue between Washington and Pyongyang in the near future. Moreover, the Republic of Korea and the United States shared the view that the reduction of military tension and the improvement in inter-Korean relations are contributing towards maintaining the momentum of dialogue for denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
In particular, the two countries shared the view that the top-down approach based on trust and commitment among the leaders of the two Koreas and the United States is essential for the peace process on the Korean Peninsula.
President Trump recognized the need for an inter-Korean summit, the possibility of a trilateral summit among the three leaders, subject to Chairman Kim’s agreement.
The Republic of Korea and the United States agreed to maintain close coordination to ensure a virtuous cycle between inter-Korean and U.S.-DPRK dialogues.
The peace process on the Korean Peninsula has now entered the stage where the discussions held at the Hanoi Summit need to be developed and translated into substantive progress at the next level.
I would like to express my deep respect for President Trump’s unwavering commitment to peace on the Korean Peninsula and his bold leadership that has led him through this untrodden path.
Now is the time to begin the preparations in earnest for an inter-Korean summit. The DPRK also expressed its commitment to continuing dialogue.
Chairman Kim Jong-un, having been re-elected as Chairman of the State Affairs Commission at the Supreme People’s Assembly, once again declared his firm commitment towards achieving denuclearization and establishing peace on the Korean Peninsula both to domestic as well as foreign audiences through a public speech. He also expressed his willingness to resume the U.S.-DPRK dialogue and to hold a 3rd U.S.- DPRK Summit. I have high regard for Chairman Kim’s unwavering commitment and very much welcome it.
Chairman Kim also clearly stated that the two Koreas must advance into the future together by faithfully implementing the Panmunjom Declaration and the Pyongyang Joint Declaration of September 2018. There cannot be any divergence of the two Koreas in this regard. My government is committed to steadily implementing the inter-Korean joint declaration, even in the face of any obstacles.
Now that we have affirmed our respective commitments, the stage is set for an inter-Korean summit.
As soon as the DPRK becomes ready, I hope the two Koreas will be able to sit down together, regardless of venue and form, and hold detailed and substantive talks on how to achieve further progress that goes beyond the previous two summits between Chairman Kim and President Trump.
As I have been doing all along, I will spare no effort to ensure that the upcoming inter-Korean summit becomes a stepping stone for an even bigger opportunity and a more significant outcome.
Just a year ago, Chairman Kim and I announced the beginning of the peace process on the Korean Peninsula to the whole world through the 1st inter-Korean Summit. We never assumed that transforming the order of longstanding hostilities and confrontation on the Korean Peninsula into a new order of peace and cooperation would be easy. Nevertheless, we have been able to create great changes together thus far.
Considering that we have achieved a major transformation from a volatile confrontation into a dialogue phase and seen two U.S.-DPRK Summits take place, there will be no mountain that we cannot surmount if the two Koreas and the United States maintain an unwavering commitment to dialogue and gather our wisdom together.
The fervent desire of the Korean people is to see the journey towards ultimate peace, prosperity and reunification completed. Based on this historical sense of calling, we will continue this journey with firm resolve.
Peace on the Korean Peninsula is a matter of survival for us. This is a matter that is inseparable from not only the lives and safety of the Korean people, but also the economy.
As the architect of the peace process on the Korean Peninsula, we have done what we have to and what we can do in a way that befits our status as the master of the fate on the Korean Peninsula. We have reached this very stage by advancing inter-Korean relations in one way and facilitating progress in U.S.-DPRK relations in another.
My government will not shrink from this responsibility. We will do our utmost in the days ahead. We will fully carry out our duty of establishing peace on the Korean Peninsula by creating a virtuous cycle between inter-Korean and U.S.-DPRK relations and securing the international community’s support and strengthening its cooperation.