The 2018 Inter-Korean Summit Pyeongyang, this year’s third summit, will be held for three days from September 18. We are stepping into a new era for inter-Korean relations. What is needed now for the two Koreas is not a new joint declaration but a commitment to the faithful advancement of inter-Korean relations. Importantly, I intend to exert intensive efforts at the upcoming summit to ease military tensions and resolve hostile relations among the South, the North and the United States. That is because only then will the implementation of inter-Korean economic cooperation and the initiative for a New Economic Map for the Korean Peninsula be able to go into full gear.
The complete denuclearization is basically an issue that should be solved through negotiations between North Korea and the United States. We, however, cannot but make efforts to mediate and facilitate between the two sides until they have smooth dialogue and communication between them. President Donald Trump and Chairman Kim Jong Un are also asking me to take on that role.
At the April Inter-Korean Summit and the June North Korea-U.S. Summit, the two Koreas and the United States reached an agreement on the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and the end to hostile ties. Accordingly, North Korea has taken several practical steps. The North promised that it would not make any nuclear and missile provocation, and it actually has conducted no nuclear or missile test since November last year. In addition, it showed its sincerity and credibility by destructing a nuclear test site as well as a missile-engine test site and repatriating the remains of the fallen U.S. soldiers. The United States and South Korea, too, took corresponding action by suspending a large-scale ROK-U.S. joint military drill deploying U.S. strategic assets.
Now to take it a level higher, that is the dismantlement of nuclear weapons possessed by the North, the leaders of North Korea and the United States need to take a broad-minded initiative and make a bold decision once again. The North should act on scrapping its nuclear weapons, and the United States should create a condition by taking reciprocating measures. In the process, the two sides must remove deep-rooted distrust stemming from 70-year-long hostility. I look forward to the resumption of sincere dialogue between them at the earliest possible date.
We have to make this upcoming summit in Pyeongyang into a definitive opportunity to take yet another big stride for the sake of the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and the establishment of a peace regime. We should also help break the impasse in North Korea-U.S. dialogue. To that end, domestic supra-partisan backing, along with strong international support, is needed. I am desperate to ask our politicians to set aside partisan politics serving only party interests in the great cause of the Korean nation’s history at this critical juncture. I look forward to the National Assembly taking this inter-Korean summit as a good opportunity to pursue inter-Korean parliamentary talks.