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Moon calls for joint efforts in dealing with NK nuclear arms

South Korean President Moon Jae-in stressed the importance of cooperation between Seoul and Beijing, calling for joint efforts in dealing with North Korea’s nuclear issues, in an address given at Peking University on Friday.

“North Korea’s nuclear tests and missile launches are not limited to South Korea. Its nuclear provocations have raised tension, and threatens not only Seoul but also threatens peace and development of China,” he said in a special lecture to 290 student audiences at the Peking University.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in gives a speech at Peking University in Beijing on Friday. (Yonhap)
South Korean President Moon Jae-in gives a speech at Peking University in Beijing on Friday. (Yonhap)

“China and South Korea have agreed on holding a firm opposition against the North’s possession of any kind of nuclear weapons and believe that strong sanctions and pressure are needed to stop the North.”

As he called for strong measures against the rogue regime, Moon also said the ultimate solution would be dialogue.

“Another war on the Korean Peninsula is unacceptable. I deeply agree with the idea that the North Korea issue should ultimately be resolved peacefully, through dialogue,” he said. “If we gather strength, we shall overcome any kind of hardships that goes in the way of establishing peace on the Korean Peninsula and Northeast Asia.”

He also urged North Korea to return to the negotiating table.

“What we want is not confrontation or competition with North Korea. I again stress that we, along with the rest of the international community, will provide a bright future if North Korea makes the right choice,” the president said.

The special lecture came a day after he and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed upon four principles to deal with the reclusive regime’s nuclear weapons. Moon arrived in Beijing Wednesday for a four-day state visit.

In the speech, several historic events shared by Korea and China were mentioned.

“China and South Korea together overcame challenging times in the past. Just as we have pulled through the era of (Japanese) imperialism,” Moon said.

“And the diplomatic ties that have been maintained since they were established in 1992 could only have developed so quickly because there were memories and friendship that had long been shared between the two nations over time,” he said.

“There is a saying that the joy of life comes from understanding each other,” he said, paraphrasing Chinese philosopher and politician Wang Anshi.

“China shines when it (stands) together with neighboring countries. It is similar to how a tall mountaintop becomes taller when it is surrounded by other mountain peaks,” he said.

“I wish for South Korea and China to develop our ties into such an understanding relationship.”

During the speech, the president received 14 applause breaks and a standing ovation at the end.

For the students attending, the president stressed the importance of their roles in building a strong future relationship between the two neighbors.

“As the 25-year-old diplomatic ties have not been established without efforts, the next 25 years would also need the passion and support from many,” he said.

“And the efforts will be coming from you.”

By Jo He-rim (herim@heraldcorp.com)
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