Next week, I will pay a visit to the United States at President Trump’s invitation. Although the failure to reach an agreement at the second US-North Korea Summit has created temporary difficulties in terms of advancing the peace process on the Korean Peninsula, it is becoming clear that neither the two Koreas nor the United States wants to go back to the past.
In particular, both the United States and North Korea are demonstrating their willingness to continue dialogue by managing the situation in order to prevent the tensions from escalating to the level of the past. In the midst of it all, my upcoming visit to the United States will take place as a result of the ROK-U.S joint efforts to revive the momentum for dialogue in the near future.
The peace process on the Korean Peninsula is a journey that features the two Koreas and the United States walking together, and thus is not an easy ride. In fact, considering the absence of success in the past 70 years, it would be rather strange if we do not face bumps and bruises as well as various difficulties along the way. This is the reason why this journey began with the extraordinary decision and agreement from the leaders of the two Koreas and the United States, and their mutual trust and commitment have been the driving force behind this process.
Since the beginning of the journey, we have witnessed remarkable developments on the Korean Peninsula, with a drastic upturn in the political situation. With so much happening, it feels as though much time has passed. However, in retrospect, it has been less than a year since the Inter-Korean Summit was held at Panmunjom on April 27th last year. The remarkable feats of the past year that the two Koreas and the United States have achieved since the beginning of dialogue are the very reason why we have to continue down the path of dialogue.
The ROK Government maintains an unwavering principle of ensuring the success of the peace process on the Korean Peninsula regardless of any obstacle, while President Trump is strongly committed to concluding negotiations with North Korea through continued dialogue. The upcoming ROK-US Summit will take place as the two sides come together. I hope North Korea will respond positively to the efforts of Seoul and Washington.
In some quarters, there have been certain attempts to drive a wedge between Seoul and Washington and reverse the tide of peace on the Korean Peninsula. They disapprove of the efforts made by Seoul, Washington and Pyongyang to facilitate dialogue, and want to go back to the past where conflict and confrontation reigned. This is in no way helpful to our national interest or the future of the Korean Peninsula.
Such attempts can be labeled truly irresponsible, especially when we recall the state of crisis we endured before dialogue was launched. If the ongoing dialogue ends in failure, the situation will deteriorate even further.
The Republic of Korea and the United States maintain close communication and coordination that befits the history of our alliance that goes back more than 60 years. We are also very much on the same page when it comes to our shared objective of achieving complete denuclearization and establishing a permanent peace regime on the Korean Peninsula.
At the upcoming ROK-US summit, I will engage in in-depth discussions with President Trump on how we can work together to advance the peace process on the Korean Peninsula, which include the resumption of US-North Korea dialogue, complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and the creation of a virtuous cycle of inter-Korean and US-North Korea relations.
We have to navigate through rough waves in order to reach a new ground. We simply cannot and will not go back to the past. I will find a way together with President Trump to translate the aspiration of the Korean people and the whole world for peace and prosperity on the Korean Peninsula into reality. Through concerted efforts, where there is an obstacle, we will break through, and where there is no road, we will create one. If we work hard, we can pull it off. Such positive thinking will lead us to a positive result. I would like to ask the Korean people to join as one in these efforts.