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S. Yoon: Address to World Summit 2020

Address to World Summit 2020, Seoul, Korea, February 3-8, 2020


Honorable Ministers, Honorable Congress people, Ladies and gentlemen, Distinguished guests from home and abroad, good afternoon. It is indeed an honor for me to deliver a keynote speech at this meaningful event where large numbers of political leaders, including current and former heads of state, prime ministers, chairmen of congress and ministers from across the world, come together and pool their wisdom.

First and foremost, I would like to extend my sincere gratitude that Universal Peace Federation invited me to this Summit and offered me such a special opportunity to share my thoughts on the ways to achieve peace on the Korean Peninsula and in the world.

The 2020 World Summit holds great significance at this critical juncture where a number of daunting issues are mounting. I, in particular, can recognize the reason that the Universal Peace Federation (UPF) hosts the World Summit with the single goal of realizing the ideal of a peaceful world in the global village. In order to realize the world of peace, it is necessary to have a place of discussion where leaders and experts from all fields including politics, finance, religion, society, culture and arts can work together to resolve the problems of international conflicts and hostilities.

Today, we all gather here to discuss the future of humanity and to make the resolution to bring about perpetual peace in the world. This year’s World Summit is being held under the theme of “Achieving World Peace and Peaceful Reunification of the Korean Peninsula Centered on Interdependence, Mutual Prosperity and Universal Values.”

In this regard, I would like to focus my speech on the ways to anchor peace on the Korean peninsula and the inter-Korean relationship.

First, it is integral that all responsible nations comply with the UN sanctions against North Korea. The member countries of the UN made a concerted effort to deter North Korea’s growing nuclear threats and agreed to adopt the UN Security Council Resolution.

Nevertheless, the current Moon Jae-in government announced that it will push for independent travel to the North. The international society is arguing that an inter-Korean cooperation scheme should go hand-in-hand with progresses in denuclearization, but the Korean government has been maintaining its stance to push for independent travel to the North.

This is an apparent violation of the UN sanctions resolution. Even at this moment, the North is accelerating the rate of advancement of its nuclear arsenal. In response, the international community is making all-out efforts to deter the North’s nuclear capability by solidifying the cooperation and multiplying the economic sanctions against North Korea. It is obvious that the Moon administration’s independent travel plan is derailing the peace process.

The Republic of Korea, as a member of the United Nations, should faithfully follow the resolutions. It is not a matter of choice. The UN sanctions are the result of a concerted action of the international society, which was made to deter North Korea’s capability to upgrade its nuclear weapons and WMD program. The bottom line should be complete dismantlement of all nuclear capabilities of North Korea including not only further development and non-proliferation “in the future” but also “existing” nuclear threats.

The formidable nuclear threats from North Korea are shaking the foundation of world peace and security. South Korea is the very concerned party of these threats and likely to be directly hit by a possible attack. That is why we should be the most exemplary nation following the sanction measures to achieve complete implementation of the UN Security Council Resolution.

Ironically, the Moon Jae-in government has consistently deviated from this journey toward peace and created a loophole in the sanction regime. President Moon’s ambition to resume tours to Pyongyang and promote tourism in North Korea will give Kim Jong-un some breathing space and at last a boost to its economy.

I suppose that the international community, including our allies, is sincerely concerned that South Korea’s plan to start independent travel to North Korea will create a rift in global security and solidarity.

Therefore, the ultimate goal of our cooperation should aim at upholding the core principle of universal values including human rights and environmental protection. We all have to actively engage in international coordination to protect human rights and the environment. Here, I would like to emphasize the role of proactive diplomacy. It is to expand the future sphere of global cooperation by enhancing multilateral cooperation with various countries.

Ladies and gentlemen, cooperation among the international society, denuclearization of North Korea, a strong alliance, and improvement in inter-Korean relations are crucial in bringing about peace to the world, Northeast Asia, and the Korean Peninsula. Through our leaders’ wisdom and determination, and a breakthrough in the current situation, I sincerely hope that all countries will be the vanguards of peace in the world.

Thank you for listening.



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