By Xu Aiying and Lee Hana
President Moon Jae-in on Nov. 19 held a town hall meeting televised live to mark the halfway point of his term.
Starting the event at 8 p.m. in an MBC TV studio in Seoul, the chief executive answered questions on current issues including inter-Korean ties, Korea-Japan relations, the economy and reform of the prosecution.
Asked about the peace process on the Korean Peninsula, he said the U.S. and North Korea are trying to arrange a third summit through working-level talks within this year, as promised by both sides.
"If a third North Korea-U.S. summit is realized, we will see favorable results, and there will be more room for inter-Korean relations to improve," he said.
On the termination of the General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA) between Korea and Japan, the president stressed the importance of security cooperation among Seoul, Washington and Tokyo.
"We will try until the last moment to avoid the termination of the accord with Japan on exchanging military information," he said, but made it clear that this depends on Tokyo's stance on its export controls on Korea.
"If Japan doesn't want the GSOMIA to expire, it needs to work with Korea to resolve the issue of export controls."
The 110-minute event took questions from 300 people in the audience who were selected based on demographics like age, gender and region. Priority was given to underrepresented groups such as the elderly, the farming and fishing communities, and the disabled.
A combined 16,034 questions were collected through online and social media.