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Seoul eyes regional support for Panmunjom Declaration of peace

All Headlines 13:13 May 03, 2018

SEOUL, May 3 (Yonhap) -- South Korea is seeking to have the leaders of Japan and China sign off a special statement supporting the outcome of South Korean President Moon Jae-in's recent historic summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, an official from Seoul's presidential office Cheong Wa Dae said Thursday.

"Cheong Wa Dae is pushing for a special statement of the leaders supporting the Panmunjom Declaration," Cheong Wa Dae spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom told reporters.

Moon is set to meet with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chinese President Xi Jinping in Tokyo on Wednesday.

The three-way summit follows Moon's historic summit with Kim, which was held Friday at the Joint Security Area of Panmunjom that sits directly on the inter-Korean border.

Under the so-called Panmunjom Declaration, the leaders of the divided Koreas declared there will be no more war on the Korean Peninsula while affirming their commitment to the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

The Cheong Wa Dae spokesman said the Seoul-proposed joint statement of Moon, Abe and Xi will express the leaders' full and unconditional support for the latest inter-Korean agreement, under which the Koreas also agreed to immediately halt all hostile acts against each other.

"This special statement will say (the three leaders) fully accept the Panmunjom Declaration as it is, so there is no reason for it to include support for complete, verifiable and irreversible dismantlement of the North Korean nuclear program," he said.

The remarks came in response to earlier reports by a Japanese newspaper that the three leaders may call for steps to verify complete and irreversible dismantlement of the North's nuclear development program.

The three-way summit will mark the first of its kind since November 2015. Both Seoul and Beijing have been reluctant to resume their summit diplomacy with the Japanese leader amid what they believed to be Tokyo's attempt to whitewash its war atrocities and colonial rule of its Asian neighbors, including Korea.

Moon's trip to Tokyo will also mark the first visit by a South Korean leader to Japan in nearly seven years since late 2011.

bdk@yna.co.kr
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