Moon holds first phone talks with Biden

Nov 13, 2020, 09:30 am

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AsiaToday reporters Lee Seok-jong 

President Moon Jae-in embarked on summit diplomacy with US President-elect Joe Biden through phone talks on Thursday.

Their first summit diplomatic agenda includes strengthening the ROK-US alliance as well as communicating closely for denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, the COVID-19 crisis and climate change.
In 14-minute phone talks, Moon asked Biden to communicate closely for the forward-looking development of the alliance, denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and establishment of lasting peace. Biden vowed to closely cooperate, stressing South Korea as the linchpin for security and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region. 

In particular, the two agreed to meet for summit talks soon after Biden’s inauguration in January.

Attention is now focused on whether the phone talks between the two leaders will lead to a breakthrough in the stalled peace process on the Korean Peninsula. 

Moon referred to Biden’s emphasis on the importance of the ROK-US alliance, his visit earlier in the day to the Korean War Memorial in Philadelphia for Veterans Days where he paid tribute, and his column on a Korean newspaper reaffirming the solidity of the alliance, in expressing gratitude for his interest and willingness for establishing peace on the Korean Peninsula and calling for further development of the alliance.

“I hope to closely communicate with president-elect Biden in the future-oriented development of the alliance that has been the basis for peace and prosperity on the Korean Peninsula, and to achieve denuclearization and lasting peace in the region,” Moon said.

In response, Biden described South Korea as a “linchpin” of security and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region, and vowed to maintain US defense commitments on the Korean Peninsula and to closely cooperate on resolving the North Korean nuclear issue.

In a situation where ROK-US cooperation is desperately needed in resolving the North Korean nuclear issue, both Moon and Biden seemingly agreed to cooperate closely for a resolution to the North Korean nuclear issue, raising expectation for reviving momentum for stalled inter-Korean and Washington-Pyongyang dialogue.

The two leaders also agreed to expand cooperation on global challenges, including COVID-19 and climate change.

“I look forward to working closely with South Korea to cooperate in responding to COVID-19 as well as the areas of healthcare, security, economic recovery, climate change, democracy, and regional peace and prosperity,” Biden said. 

While praising Seoul’s efforts to contain COVID-19 transmissions, Biden said he will do his best to contain the virus the United States before the official launch of his administration.

According to Cheong Wa Dae, Moon congratulated Biden on his recent election win, quoting a poem by Irish poet Seamus Heaney, whose work was referenced during Biden’s presidential candidacy acceptance speech at the US Democratic National Convention. 

Moon also mentioned Biden’s connection with late former South Korean President Kim Dae-jung. 

According to Cheong Wa Dae, Biden expressed gratitude for Moon’s remarks, and the two leaders had a conversation in very friendly and comfortable manner.  

#Moon Jae-in #Joe Biden #phone talks 
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