NATIONAL

Moon vows to enhance trilateral economic cooperation with North Korea and Russia

By Yeo Jun-suk

South Korean president expresses hope for linking Trans-Siberian Railway to Busan at his speech before the Russian parliament.

  • Published : Jun 21, 2018 - 22:09
  • Updated : Jun 22, 2018 - 10:14

South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in on Thursday pledged to enhance trilateral cooperation between the two Koreas and Russia, expressing hopes that the Trans-Siberian Railway will link to the southern tip of South Korea.

During his speech at the Russian parliament in Moscow, Moon said if the two Koreas replace the current armistice agreement with a peace treaty, the Northeast Asia region will be able to establish its own “collective security system.”

“I have always hoped for permanent peace and common prosperity on the Korean Peninsula and Eurasia. I’m hoping the Russian lawmakers will join that journey,” Moon said in a special speech delivered at Russia's State Duma, the lower house of the Russian parliament.

“Through permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula, I’m hoping that the Trans-Siberian Railway will extend all the way to the southern port city of Busan, where I grow up. I hope you join our efforts to open up new possibilities and common prosperity on the Korean Peninsula.”

President Moon Jae-in delivers a speech before the Russian parliament in Moscow on Thursday. (Joint Press Corps)

The president stressed that trilateral cooperation on the railway, energy and electricity between the two Koreas and Russia will pave the way for establishing an economic community in Northeast Asia.

Moon arrived in Moscow earlier Thursday on a three-day state visit that includes a bilateral summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin. He is the first South Korean president to have addressed the State Duma, according to Cheong Wa Dae.

The president’s trip to Russia followed his two historic summits with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un at the truce border village of Panmunjeom, in which the two leaders declared there would never be another war on the Korean Peninsula, while Kim also agreed to denuclearize his country.

Describing his meetings with Kim as “grand historical transition,” the president said the two Koreas and the US had left behind the times of “war and confrontation” to usher in an era of “peace and cooperation.”

“There is grand historic transition underway on the Korean Peninsula. … Now the two Koreas step toward the era of peace and cooperation, leaving behind the times of war and confrontation,” Moon said. 

President Moon is greeted by Russian lawmakers. (Joint Press Corps)

He noted that North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump had declared end to decades-old hostilities and the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula during their first-ever summit in Singapore on June 12.

And the agreement was followed by North Korea’s implementation of “practical measures” for complete denuclearization -- including a pledge to shut down its missile engine test site after the decision to dismantle the only nuclear test site in Punggye-ri, Moon added. 

In response, the president said, South Korea and the US agreed to relieve military pressure on North Korea by suspending the joint military exercise Freedom Guardian, which North Korea had denounced as a war rehearsal.

“I think there is a new hope for human beings in Eurasia, where human beings and Mother Nature coexist. ... South Korea and Russia will move beyond the era of war and walk toward the era of peace and prosperity.”

By Yeo Jun-suk(jasonyeo@heraldcorp.com)


President Moon and Russian Prime Minister Medvedev and their officials hold talks in Moscow on Thursday. (Joint Press Corps)

President Moon and Russian Prime Minister Medvedev pose before holding talks in Moscow on Thursday. (Joint Press Corps)


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