South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Tuesday proposed a sub-regional public health initiative that would involve the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK).
“Hoping that the international community views the issues surrounding the Korean Peninsula through the lens of more inclusive international cooperation, I propose today launching a Northeast Asia Cooperation Initiative for Infectious Disease Control and Public Health, whereby North Korea participates as a member along with China, Japan, Mongolia and the Republic of Korea.”
“A cooperative architecture that guarantees collective protection of life and safety will lay the ground for North Korea to have its security guaranteed by engaging with the international community,” Moon told the General Debate of the UN General Assembly via a pre-recorded speech.
Moon also asked for the support of the United Nations and the international community for an end-of-war declaration on the Korean Peninsula.
This year marks the 70th anniversary of the outbreak of the Korean War. Time has come to remove the tragedy lingering on the Korean Peninsula. The War must end, completely and for good, said Moon.
“Peace on the Korean Peninsula will guarantee peace in Northeast Asia as a whole and, going one step further, bring positive changes to the world order as well,” he said.
“I believe it begins with declaring an end to the (Korean) War, an act that can affirm mutual commitments to peace. I hope that the UN and the international community provide support so that we can advance into an era of reconciliation and prosperity through the end-of-war declaration. The end-of-war declaration will, indeed, open the door to complete denuclearization and permanent peace regime on the Korean Peninsula.”
Moon said his country has been steadfast in seeking inter-Korean reconciliation and is making relentless efforts to achieve denuclearization and establish permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula.
However, he said, peace on the Korean Peninsula is still in the making and changes that used to be brimming with hopes have stalled.
“Yet, the Republic of Korea will continue the dialogue. What all of us need to do is to take one more step forward. My belief remains unchanged that we can achieve denuclearization and bring lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula with the international community’s continued support and cooperation,” said Moon.
He pointed out that inter-Korean cooperation in disease prevention and control and public health will also trigger dialogue and cooperation in the process of building a peaceful Korean Peninsula.