South Korea's President Moon Jae-in laid out his vision for a "new Korean Peninsula regime" Friday, calling it a community for peaceful and economic cooperation that breaks with the country's checkered history of conflict and ideological divide.
Speaking at a ceremony marking the centennial anniversary of the March 1 Independence Movement against Japanese colonial rule, Moon said that the regime will create a peaceful order in the coming century in which "we will take on a leading role."
He also pledged to strengthen cooperation with Tokyo, saying the 1919 landmark statement issued by 33 leading independence fighters was not driven by enmity but was designed to promote the "harmonious co-existence of all humankind."
"The coming 100 years will differ from the past in quality. We will push ahead with a bold transition toward a new Korean Peninsula regime and prepare for unification," the president said during the ceremony at Gwanghwamun Square in central Seoul.
"The new Korean Peninsula regime refers to the order of the coming century in which we will take on a leading role. Working together with the people and with North Korea as well, we will create a new order of peace and cooperation," he added.
Moon cast the regime as a new community of peace and cooperation that will end confrontations and conflicts.
"We will establish a permanent peace regime without fail on the basis of our unwavering will, close ROK-U.S. coordination, a settlement in North Korea-U.S. talks and support from the international community," he said.
His remarks came a day after the second summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Hanoi failed to produce a deal that many anticipated would create a fresh momentum for ongoing peace efforts with the communist regime.
Though they started their second summit with boasts of their "very special" relationship, Trump and Kim failed to meet halfway due to gaps over Washington's sanctions relief and the scope of Pyongyang's denuclearization.
Moon said the new peninsula regime will be a new community of economic cooperation. For this, he said his government will consult with the U.S. on ways to resume stalled tours to Mount Kumgang on the North's east coast and the operation of the joint industrial complex in the North's border city of Kaesong.
The president, moreover, said that when there is progress in denuclearization, an inter-Korean economic committee will be established to produce "economic achievements that benefit the two Koreas." (Yonhap)