S.Korean unification minister stresses economic cooperation with DPRK to resolve nuke issue

Source:Xinhua Published: 2017/9/19 21:23:44

South Korea's top policymaker in charge of affairs with the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) on Tuesday stressed the importance for inter-Korean economic cooperation to resolve the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula.

Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon said at a forum in Seoul that the "New Korean Peninsula Economic Initiative," advocated by President Moon Jae-in, could be a solution to the nuclear issue on the peninsula, saying efforts would be urgently needed to resolve it peacefully and fundamentally.

The initiative was championed by Moon, who took office in May, during his campaign trail to improve relations with the DPRK through economic cooperation in three major economic zones, including those in the East and West Seas and inside the demilitarized zone (DMZ) dividing the two sides.

The economic development in the three zones in cooperation with the DPRK was aimed to be linked to the Moon government's so-called new northern economic policy, which targets the logistic hub connecting the land and sea routes from South Korea to Russia through the DPRK.

Moon has been widely forecast to inherit the Sunshine policy, advocated by his liberal predecessors, of engagement with the DPRK through economic cooperation and exchanges of culture, sports and personnel.

The unification minister said the initiative would provide a new growth engine for the South Korean economy, while helping the DPRK economy revitalized and changed, to lay foundation for economic reunification through mutually beneficial cooperation.

The push for the initiative, Cho said, would make DPRK people notice that they can live peacefully without a nuclear program.

However, the minister noted that the peninsula's crisis escalated with the vicious cycle of the DPRK's provocations leading to the international community's sanctions.

On Sept. 3, Pyongyang detonated its sixth nuclear device, believed to have been the most powerful one ever carried out by the country.

The UN Security Council adopted a new resolution toughening sanctions on the DPRK.

Days later, the Asian country flew an intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM), called Hwasong-12, over Japan.

Cho added that the South Korean government will make consistent efforts to form a virtuous cycle of stopping the confrontation on the peninsula and in Northeast Asia and building peace.


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