By Sohn JiAe
President Moon Jae-in held consecutive meetings with Japanese Prime minister Shinzo Abe and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on May 9 and stressed that Tokyo and Beijing both could play a crucial role in achieving complete denuclearization in North Korea and a permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula.
In the talks with the Japanese leader, President Moon said that not only an inter-Korean dialogue but also talks between Japan and North Korea, and the normalization of the Tokyo-Pyeongyang relationship, must take place in order to ensure peace on the peninsula and across Northeast Asia.
Mentioning the Panmunjeom Declaration that stipulates an end to war and a peace treaty, the Japanese prime minister said that, “The declaration must include another crucial element, regional security, too. The Japanese government desires to join any discussions designed to ensure security in the Northeast Asian region.”
In response, President Moon said that, “A peace treaty is something that is agreed upon by warring parties and, in a broader sense, the effort to establish peace on the peninsula and in Northeast Asia must involve Japan and its cooperation, definitely.”
In a meeting with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, President Moon said that, “The success of the 2018 Inter-Korean Summit was all thanks to China’s strong support. The strategic communication between me, Chinese President Xi Jinping and the premier has made the summit such a success.”
Li said in response that, “China speaks highly of the Korean government’s efforts to pursue better inter-Korean ties, peace, security and denuclearization on the peninsula. We will continue to work with Seoul to fulfill the process of denuclearization.”
On top of this, the two leaders shared the idea of a railway linking Seoul and Sinuiju, all the way to China. To this end, the leaders hoped that joint research by Korea and China would proceed before any groundbreaking.