South Korea's Vice Foreign Minister Lee Tae-ho said Wednesday that fostering "sustainable peace" on the peninsula is vital to achieving "resilient peace" in Asia long beset by North Korea's nuclear threats and other security challenges.
Lee made the remarks during the annual Jeju Forum for Peace and Prosperity, which kicked off its three-day run under the main theme of "Asia Towards Resilient Peace: Cooperation and Integration."
"Above all, (we) should achieve sustainable peace on the Korean Peninsula for Asia's peace and prosperity, because tensions and conflict on the peninsula are a major threat factor not just for Asia but also for the entire world," he said.
To foster resilient peace, the vice minister called for greater cooperation, exchanges and trade among countries in the region, which he said would help them better understand one another and increase mutual trust.
In addition, Lee stressed the importance of building experience of cooperation among nations and institutionalizing their cooperative practices, calling attention to European efforts in the 20th century to build multinational cooperation.
"Accumulated experience of cooperation and trust will become the power to overcome (challenges) should unexpected factors of conflict and tension arise," he said. "In other words, it would become resilience to restore peace."
Lee also voiced hope that South Korean President Moon Jae-in's proposal last year to build an East Asian railroad community will lead to the creation of a multilateral platform aimed at promoting regional peace and security.
"I hope that such efforts by our government will contribute to the vision of peace and prosperity for the entirety of Asia," he said.
The peace forum brought together hundreds of government officials, scholars and civic activists from across the world. It focuses on regional security cooperation, particularly ways to facilitate the North's denuclearization and entrench a lasting peace on the peninsula. (Yonhap)