S.Korea's "diplomacy of golden mean" to expand diplomatic terrain, says presidential advisor

Source:Xinhua Published: 2017/11/20 21:36:34

South Korea's "diplomacy of golden mean" will help the Asian country expand diplomatic terrain beyond Northeast Asia by strengthening cooperation with Southeast Asian countries and nations bordering the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), the special security advisor to President Moon Jae-in said Monday.

Moon Chung-in, professor emeritus at Yonsei University in Seoul and special advisor for foreign affairs and national security for President Moon, told a press conference with foreign correspondents here that such diplomacy had "more to do with harmony."

"It's different from balance. Zhongyong has more to do with harmony, not being sided with one aspect, trying to make a balance among conflicting elements," said the special advisor referring to the Confucian philosophy's golden mean described in the Confucian classic, the Doctrine of the Mean.

He said the Moon government's diplomatic policy direction would not become excessive but try to be a moderation, calling it the diplomacy of "moderation and golden mean."

Asked about a balanced diplomacy which President Moon advocated on his campaign trail, the president has said in a joint press conference with visiting US President Donald Trump earlier this month that his balanced diplomacy was not aimed at a diplomacy between the United States and China.

It aimed, Moon has said, to expand his country's diplomatic territory to peacefully resolve the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula and build a peace regime on the Korean Peninsula, and eventually for peace, stability and prosperity in Northeast Asia.

To expand the diplomatic terrain, the Moon government was pursuing the so-called New Northern Policy and the New Southern Policy, which aimed to go beyond South Korea's focus on diplomacy with four powers surrounding the country such as the United States, China, Russia and Japan.

Under the New Southern Policy, South Korea will expand economic cooperation with 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) as the Southeast Asian nations were underestimated despite their political and economic influences, the special advisor said.

The advisor said the focus will be placed on the economic field, but some local experts estimated the expanded diplomacy with Southeast Asia will help South Korea resolve the Korean Peninsula's nuclear issue as many of ASEAN members have diplomatic relations with both South Korea and the DPRK.

Under the New Northern Policy, the Moon administration will build trust with China, Russia and Mongolia through economic cooperation to eventually expand the cooperation to the DPRK.

The advisor said the new northern policy meets, at a point, the far east development advocated by Russian President Vladimir Putin and China's Belt and Road Initiative.

President Moon announced the new economic roadmap on the Korean Peninsula to link logistics into Eurasia through the peninsula divided into the two Koreas by the heavily armed border.

Touching on South Korea's relations with China and the United States, the advisor said Seoul will make constructive efforts to try to find a new position between Beijing and Washington, but he noted that the diplomacy of golden mean will seek harmony and expand relations into the ASEAN members and the northern countries.

He said the basic axis will be the South Korea-US alliance as the two countries are the ally with each other.

President Moon, the advisor said, will make many efforts to improve relations with the DPRK as inter-Korean relations are at the core of Seoul's diplomacy.

He noted that there has been no change in President Moon's stance on the inter-Korean relations, saying the basic strategy would be dialogue and negotiations with Pyongyang.

The DPRK has conducted no provocation for over two months, the special advisor said. Pyongyang carried out its sixth nuclear test on Sept. 3 and test-fired an intermediate-range ballistic missile over Japan in mid-September.

He anticipated the Moon government to find a new breakthrough by enhancing inter-Korean relations as there is no reason for South Korea to continue pressure and sanctions on the DPRK if Pyongyang stops provocation.

The advisor said pressure and sanctions were not an end but a means to encourage the DPRK to come to a dialogue table, adding that if inter-Korean relations are improved, President Moon would have more room for an active role in the Korean Peninsula issues.

The advisor emphasized that he is not a government official who speaks for the Moon government and speaks for President Moon, saying he just can give advice to President Moon on a part-time basis.

Posted in: ASIA-PACIFIC

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