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Thursday, January 10, 2019, 14:02
Moon hails China's role in denuclearizing Korean Peninsula
By Xinhua
Thursday, January 10, 2019, 14:02 By Xinhua

Republic of Korean President Moon Jae-in holds his New Year press conference at the presidential Blue House in Seoul, Jan 10, 2019. (JUNE YEON-JE / POOL PHOTO VIA AP)

SEOUL — China has played a positive role in denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula and improving inter-Korean relations, the Republic of Korea (ROK)'s President Moon Jae-in said in his New Year press conference on Thursday.

Until now, China has played a positive role in helping very much the Korean Peninsula's denuclearization and improving inter-Korean relations

 Moon Jae-in, ROK President

"Until now, China has played a positive role in helping very much the Korean Peninsula's denuclearization and improving inter-Korean relations," said Moon in the televised press conference.

China, Moon said, has always played a positive role in helping the summits between the ROK and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) and between the DPRK and the United States.

The latest summit talks between the top leaders of China and DPRK are anticipated to play "a very positive role" for the success of the second summit between Kim and US President Donald Trump, said the ROK president.

COOPERATION PROJECTS WELCOMED

Moon welcomed the offer by Kim Jong-un, top leader of the DPRK, to resume inter-Korean cooperation projects that require the lifting, or at least easing, of international sanctions on Pyongyang for the resumption.

ALSO READ: Xi-Kim meeting affirms China's role in peace initiative

"The Kaesong Industrial Complex and the Mount Kumgang tour project were beneficial to both South and North Korea (DPRK). (I) welcome North Korea's intention very much to resume (the operations) without any condition and compensation," Moon said.

Moon's remarks came in response to the overtures that Kim made during his New Year's speech earlier this month.

Moon welcomed the offer by Kim to resume inter-Korean cooperation projects that require the lifting, or at least easing, of international sanctions on Pyongyang for the resumption

Kim said he was willing to reopen the inter-Korean factory park in the DPRK's border town of Kaesong and resume the tours by people in the ROK to the DPRK's scenic resort of Mount Kumgang "without any preconditions."

Moon said prerequisites for the resumption of the two projects were already met between the two Koreas as Kim's overtures were hailed by himself.

READ MORE: ROK consults with DPRK on inter-Korean industrial zone

The president vowed to cooperate with the international community, including the United States, to rapidly resolve the remaining issue of international sanctions on the DPRK.

The Kaesong Industrial Complex was closed down by the ROK in February 2016 over the DPRK's fourth nuclear test in the previous month.

The tourism project to Mount Kumgang, launched in 1998, has been suspended since 2008 when a ROK tourist was shot dead by a DPRK solider after allegedly venturing into an off-limits area.

The president vowed to cooperate with the international community, including the United States, to rapidly resolve the remaining issue of international sanctions on the DPRK.

READ MORE: Kim: DPRK working for 2nd summit with US to achieve results

To rapidly resolve the sanctions issue, Moon said the DPRK is required to take bold denuclearization actions while the United States is required to take corresponding measures.

A TV screen shows the live broadcast of Republic of Korean President Moon Jae-in's press conference in Seoul, Jan 10, 2019. (AHN YOUNG-JOON / AP)

Moon said that if the second DPRK-US summit is to be held in the near future, Kim and Trump would try to narrow difference over it.

Moon expected Kim's Seoul trip to take place after Kim's second summit with the US president.

Regarding Kim's promise to make a reciprocal visit to Seoul, Moon said the DPRK leader's first-ever travel to the ROK itself would be a landmark turning point in inter-Korean relations.

Moon expected Kim's Seoul trip to take place after Kim's second summit with the US president.

After his third summit with Moon in Pyongyang in September, Kim promised to visit Seoul in the foreseeable future. If realized, he would become the first DPRK leader to visit the ROK since the Korean Peninsula was left divided with the armistice that ended the 1950-1953 Korean War.

Moon said the second DPRK-US summit and Kim's trip to Seoul would be a turning point to firmly solidify peace on the peninsula, vowing to tighten its guard until the promise to denuclearize the peninsula is kept and peace is fully institutionalized.

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