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Moon says S. Korea ready to talk with Japan anytime, urges separation of history with future-oriented ties

North Korea 10:54 March 01, 2021

SEOUL, March 1 (Yonhap) -- President Moon Jae-in stated Monday that South Korea won't cease its push for stronger cooperation with Japan, saying it would also be helpful to the trilateral partnership with the United States.

"Our government is ready to sit down with the Japanese government anytime and have dialogue," he said during his televised speech on the March 1 Independence Movement Day.

He stressed he is sure that the neighboring countries can resolve pending issues related to shared history "wisely" if they share ideas with the position of "putting themselves in each other's shoes."

President Moon Jae-in delivers a speech during the March 1 Independence Movement Day ceremony at Tapgol Park in Seoul on March 1, 2021. (Yonhap)

He called for the two sides to overcome the "obstacle" of failing to separate history issues with efforts for future-oriented ties, during the ceremony to commemorate the 1919 public uprising here against Japan's colonial rule. This year's ceremony was held at Tapgol Park in Seoul. As the first modern park built in the capital, it is known as the birthplace of the historic movement, where the Proclamation of Independence was read out.

"Bilateral cooperation would be of help to both countries, stabilization and coprosperity in Northeast Asia and it would also be helpful to trilateral cooperation among South Korea, the U.S. and Japan," he said.

Moon also vowed continued efforts for the denuclearization of Korea and lasting peace.

He reaffirmed the three-point principles on inter-Korean relations: zero tolerance for war, a mutual security guarantee and co-prosperity.

He expressed hope that North Korea will begin cooperation with other countries with the participation in the "Northeast Asia Cooperation Initiative" intended to promote partnerships against public health crises like COVID-19.

"It would serve as a force to open the door for coprosperity and peace on the Korean Peninsula and East Asia," he said.

The president said South Korea will cooperate for the success of the Tokyo Olympics, scheduled to take place later this year, as it could offer a chance for dialogue among the two Koreas, the U.S. and Japan.

lcd@yna.co.kr
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