Moon proposes Asian railway community with U.S.

Aug 16, 2018, 08:48 am

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President Moon Jae-in delivers a speech at a ceremony held in Yongsan, Seoul on Wednesday to mark the 73rd anniversary of Korea's liberation from the 1910-45 Japanese colonial rule./ Source: Yonhap

By AsiaToday reporter Park Ji-sook 

"Even though political unification may be far away, establishing peace between the two Koreas and freely visiting each other, and forming a joint economic community is genuine liberation for us," President Moon Jae-in said on Wednesday.

"We must overcome the division for our survival and development," Moon said in a speech at a ceremony held in Yongsan to mark Korea's independence from the 1910-45 Japanese colonial rule 73 years ago. 

"Economic cooperation can really take off when peace is established on the Korean Peninsula, along with its complete denuclearization. Once peace is established, we will create special economic zones near the inter-Korean border in Gyeonggi and Gangwon provinces," the president said. 

"It's our goal to connect our roads and railways with those of North Korea agreed at the Panmunjom Declaration before the year's end," he said. "I propose the two Koreas, together with the United States and four other Asian countries (China, Japan, Russia, and Mongolia) form a Northeast Asian railroad community. This community will become the foundation of co-existence and prosperity in Northeast Asia."

Regarding his scheduled visit to Pyongyang in September for a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, Moon said, "We two leaders will confirm the implementation of the Panmunjom Declaration and take an audacious step to proceed toward the declaration of an end to the Korean War and the signing of a peace treaty as well as the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula."

"The development of South-North Korean relations is not a subsidiary effect of progress in North Korea-U.S. relationship, but rather the driving force that promotes denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula," he said. "The two Koreas have restored regular communication channels between military authorities and are in contact on a daily basis. The Yellow Sea, dubbed the sea of conflict, has now turned into a sea of peace where military threats have disappeared and common prosperity is being pursued. Demilitarizing the Joint Security Area in Panmunjom and the withdrawal of guard posts in the Demilitarized Zone on a trial basis were agreed upon in principle. The South-North joint excavation of the remains of those killed during the Korean War will also be carried out."

"Reunions of separated families have also resumed. A South-North Korea joint liaison office, which is expected to develop into a permanent mission for both sides, will be established for the first time going ward. This is very meaningful. In a few days, an era where the two Koreas communicate with each other around the clock will begin," Moon said. "I hope that the implementation of the complete denuclearization of North Korea and corresponding comprehensive measures by the United States will be pursued quickly."

"The government will identify more accounts of the independence movement without any discrimination on the basis of one's gender or role. I believe that the complete identification of the independence movement's unknown history and independence activists will be the completion of yet another liberation," the president said.

#Moon Jae-in #National Liberation Day #speech #railway community 
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