Keynote Speech by the Representative of the Republic of Korea
The Special Meeting of CICA Ministers of Foreign Affairs September 24, 2018
Honorable Chair, Excellencies and Distinguished Delegates,
It is a great pleasure for me to take part in the CICA Ministerial Meeting on the sidelines of the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly on behalf of the Government of the Republic of Korea.
First of all, let me express my sincere gratitude to China for its dedicated work as the chair and for its excellent leadership over the last four years. Thanks to China’s great leadership, CICA’s role as Asia’s regional cooperation mechanism has been taken to the next level. I would also like to congratulate our new chair, Tajikistan. I hope that the exchanges and cooperation within CICA can be strengthened further. In addition, I welcome and congratulate our new member Sri Lanka on joining CICA last August.
Excellencies and Distinguished delegates,
It has already been 26 years since the launch of CICA. During the last 26 years, CICA has achieved both quantitative and qualitative growth. The number of member states has increased to 27, and CICA has grown into a regular consultative body that holds summits. Each member has built confidence through cooperation in the areas of the economy, environment, human, military and politics, new challenges and threats. The Republic of Korea joined CICA in 2006, and since then, we have been playing an active role for the development of CICA as the coordinator on ICT cooperation and energy security and by making voluntary contributions every year.
The ultimate goal of CICA’s efforts is to secure peace, security and stability in Asia through confidence building. In that sense, peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula is very important. Today, I’d like to speak about the recent developments on the Korean Peninsula.
As you know, from September 18th to 20th, President Moon Jae-in visited Pyeongyang for the 3rd inter-Korean summit. The two leaders had in-depth discussions on advancement of inter-Korean relations, easing of military tension and complete denuclearization. The Pyeongyang Joint Declaration, signed after the two leaders’ discussions, demonstrates their will toward peace and prosperity on the Korean Peninsula.
First, they agreed to substantially remove the danger of war across the entire Korean Peninsula and fundamentally resolve hostile relations. The two leaders also shared the view that substantial progress to achieve the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula must be made in a prompt manner. To this end, North Korea promised to permanently dismantle the Dongchang-ri missile engine test site and launch platform under the observation of international experts from relevant countries. North Korea also expressed its willingness to take measures including the permanent dismantlement of the Yeongbyeon Nuclear Facility upon corresponding measures by the United States. The two sides also agreed to cooperate closely to achieve the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
In terms of inter-Korean relations, the two sides agreed on practical measures to further advance inter-Korean relations. To fundamentally resolve the issue of separated families, the leaders agreed to take measures such as opening a permanent facility for family reunion meetings at an early date. Furthermore, they agreed to promote exchanges in various areas, including sports and culture. We especially look forward to actively participating together in the 2020 Summer Olympic Games and cooperating in bidding for the joint hosting of the 2032 Summer Olympic Games.
Excellencies and Distinguished delegates,
Even though the sounds of artillery fire of the Korean War were silenced by the 1953 Armistice Agreement, war has continued to haunt our lives for the past 65 years. Up until last year, North Korea conducted nuclear and missile tests, and some countries even mentioned taking military countermeasures against the North, resulting in heightened tension on the Korean Peninsula.
However, we are now standing at a turning point in history. Peace on the Korean Peninsula is a top priority for the Moon Jae-in administration, and we are sparing no effort to remove the threat of war from the Korean Peninsula. These efforts have led to the two inter-Korean summits in April and May, the U.S.-North Singapore Summit in June, and the third inter-Korean summit last week. Now, inter-Korean relations have reached a new level. The two sides on the Korean Peninsula are now in the process of ending military tensions and building trust through dialogue to achieve the ultimate goal of complete denuclearization and establishing a peace regime on the Korean Peninsula.
Korean government will continue to work towards complete denuclearization and establishment of permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula based on the results of the third inter-Korean summit. The improvement of inter-Korean relations and the faithful implementation of the Pyeongyang Joint Declaration will lay the groundwork in creating substantial progress for denuclearization. However, we know that we cannot achieve this by ourselves and that we need strong support from the international community. We ask for CICA members’ continued interest and support. Honorable Chair, Excellencies and Distinguished delegates,
Asia has the largest territory and the largest population and is a continent of diversity and dynamism. I am certain that, if we contribute to making this diversity and dynamism work positively for Asia through CICA, we will be able to unleash Asia’s unlimited potential. Once again, I would like to thank China for completing its role as the chair country and for all its efforts, and I send my support and encouragement to the next chair, Tajikistan.