The historical tri-partite summit meeting among the leaders of two Koreas and the United States at the Panmunjom Truce Village on June 30, 2019 was truly good news for the Korean people. President Moon Jae-in conceded many things to President Trump and Chairman Kim, and played a low-profile role obviously from his own free will to lead Trump and Kim make a good deal for all parties. Moon’s gesture was received very well from most of the people in Seoul—and perhaps from many countries around the world—to speak noting of Trump and Kim.
Most people in South Korea want to belief that it would lead to North Korea’s eventual abandonment of the nuclear weapons by North Korea. However, many people in the South, and perhaps also in the United States, too, appear to be skeptical about the real intention on the part of Kim Jong-Un of the North.
Following the historical crossing of the Military Demarcation Line (MDL) into the North Korean side at Panmunjom by President Trump, it was reciprocated by Chairman Kim of North Korea into the south across the MDL—adding to heightened hopes in Korea that “finally the three parties are moving toward settling their differences and achieving durable peace on the Korean peninsula.
Here are excerpts from the statement of President Moon on June 1, 2019:
Today, the Korean Peninsula, with President Trump, has become the most-noted place on Earth. Since the armistice declaration 66 years ago, the United States and North Korea will be meeting in Panmunjom. For the first time in history, the leaders of the United States and North Korea will be standing face to face in Panmunjom, the symbol of division, and shake hands for peace. If we continue to communicate and engage with each other in dialogue, we can move toward the best situation ever. This is something that we will be able to see for ourselves today. The South and North will be able to become confident about peace, and the world will provide support and cheer on President Trump and Chairman Kim with high expectations.
What we sincerely want here on the Korean Peninsula is permanent peace. I hope that President Trump will go down in history as the president that has achieved peace on the Korean Peninsula. Peace requires more courage than conflict. I would like to extend my appreciation to the two leaders for being so brave, and I am very overwhelmed with emotion because we’ve been able to prove the way toward peace on the Korean Peninsula.
Continuous dialogue is the only viable option for achieving the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. Today, President Trump and I have reaffirmed that we are absolutely on the same page when it comes to denuclearization and that we share common goals. In particular, as complete denuclearization and peace-building on the Korean Peninsula and normalization of U.S-DPRK relations were the goals committed to in the Singapore agreement, we concurred that implementing this agreement simultaneously and in parallel would be vitally important. I hope that there will be progress made between the leaders of the two countries at today’s meeting together with the people of the Republic of Korea.
The ROK-U.S. alliance has become a comprehensive strategic alliance that strengthens cooperation not only in security but also with regard to the economy as well as regional and global issues. Such a steadfast ROK-U.S. alliance is working as the linchpin for regional peace, stability and prosperity, and we have decided to continue to carry on in close coordination.
Recently, our bilateral trade and investments are being made vibrantly, and our economic relations are developing in a balanced and mutually beneficial manner. Importantly, the Korean businesses’ investments in the U.S. have significantly increased since the inauguration of President Trump. We have made the institutional framework of cooperation more solid through the KORUS FTA amendment. As President Trump has said, I believe that this is a victory for both countries. Today, our two leaders have agreed to further accelerate the momentum to expand trade and investments and further expand the ROK-U.S. alliance to a mutually reciprocal economic alliance as well.
In regional and also global issues, our two countries will continue to work very closely together as strong allies. The Asia Pacific region is a core region for maintaining peace and prosperity for both countries. Under the regional cooperation principles of openness, inclusiveness and transparency, we have agreed to put forth harmonious cooperation between Korea's New Southern Policy and the United States' Indo-Pacific Strategy.
Meanwhile, we have shared our concerns related to the recent attacks on the oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman and the escalation of tension in the Middle East. The freedom of passage and freedom of transit in the Gulf of Oman is very important for the stability of the Middle East and security of international energy. I have high regard for the careful restraint shown by President Trump. We have agreed to continue to cooperate closely for stability in the Middle East.
President Trump and I will not forget the history and the spirit of our great alliance and our two countries will work very closely in cooperation as strong allies. With this visit to the Republic of Korea, we have once again reaffirmed our common objectives and strategies, and I’m very glad and heartened by this. Going forward, we will continue to work very closely together and be frank and open in our discussions and communications to strongly solidify and develop the ROK-U.S. alliance.
President Trump is the maker of peace on the Korean Peninsula. You really are the peace maker of the Korean Peninsula. I hope that this meeting with Chairman Kim Jong Un at Panmunjom will bring hope to the people of South and North Korea and that it will be a milestone in the history of humankind toward peace.
Again, I would like to extend my warmest welcome to President Trump to Korea. Our friendship will continue to grow deeper and greener like the leaves of early summer.