[New Year's Speech] Moon Reconfirms Seoul-Washington Ties for Denuclearization

Write : 2018-01-10 12:21:58 Update : 2018-01-10 15:31:50

[New Year's Speech] Moon Reconfirms Seoul-Washington Ties for Denuclearization

Anchor: South Korean President Moon Jae-in has introduced his blueprint for 2018. After a 20-minute New Year's speech at the presidential office on Wednesday, the president spent about an hour responding to a wide range of questions from reporters from home and abroad about North Korea, Japanese sex slavery and domestic politics. 
Kim Bum-soo has this wrap up.


[Sound bite: President Moon Jae-in (Korean)]
"As you know, we must improve inter-Korean ties while resolving the North Korean nuclear issue. These two problems cannot be taken separately."

President Moon Jae-in says he will work to turn the improving inter-Korean ties into an opportunity to peacefully resolve the North Korean nuclear issue.  

Moon on Wednesday revealed his North Korea policies in a 20-minute New Year's speech and an hour-long question-and-answer session. 

[Sound bite: President Moon Jae-in (Korean)]
"The goal of sanctions and pressure is to induce North Korea to come back to dialogue. This is only the beginning and we can't say only dialogue is the solution. We will be sincere in holding talks with North Korea and put efforts to resolve the North Korean nuclear issue by improving inter-Korean ties, but if the North stages provocations and fails to be sincere, the international community will come up with strong sanctions and pressure." 

Moon also thanked U.S. President Donald Trump for the recent inter-Korean talks, noting that the U.S.-led sanctions and pressure could have been effective in bringing about the current result. 

The president said that he has no plans to ease the South's own sanction measures against the North despite thawing relations. Moon also said he is open to holding an inter-Korean summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un but he will not pursue a summit for the sake of just holding a summit. 

In reference to the 2015 settlement on Japan’s wartime sex slavery of Korean women signed by the ousted Park Geun-hye government, Moon said the 'erroneous knot' must be untied.

[Sound bite: President Moon Jae-in (Korean)]
"I basically believe that the comfort women issue can only be solved based on truth and the principle of justice."
"When Japan accepts truth and wholeheartedly apologizes to the elderly victims and when it learns a lesson and works with the international community to prevent a recurrence of such, the elderly women can forgive Japan and I think that will be the complete resolution to the comfort women issue. This is not an issue that can be solved at a government-to-government exchange of conditions with the victims excluded." 

Moon also called on lawmakers to expedite consultations on constitutional revision. He emphasized the need to reflect the people’s change in thoughts over the past 30 years while stressing the need to put the proposed amendment to a vote during the local elections set for June.  

The live media event at the presidential office was his second press conference following his first on August 17th of last year marking his 100th day in office. 
Kim Bum-soo, KBS World Radio News.

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