South Korean Foreign Minister Kang on Prospects for Peace on the Korean Peninsula

South Korean Foreign Minister H.E. Kyung-Wha Kang outlined her country’s vision for peace on the Korean Peninsula this week at a lunch for British parliamentarians hosted by NTI Vice Chair Des Browne. She emphasized the importance of the international community sustaining a unified strategy toward North Korea that includes opening new channels of dialogue and engagement with the North, maintaining sanctions, making progress on denuclearization, and reducing military tensions. 

Minister Kang outlined the recent complex steps that have been taken in support of this strategy, particularly the historic Inter-Korea Summits and the North Korea-U.S. Summit in Singapore. Other steps include restoring a military hotline for South and North Korea on the western coast that allows military officials to contact one another and an agreement between North and South Korea to establish a joint liaison office in the North Korean joint industrial complex of Kaesong (which was closed in 2016), allowing the countries to have a steady and reliable line of communication.

UK Parliamentarians with South Korean Minister Kang

Acknowledging that denuclearization of the North will be a major challenge which will require "tenacity and patience," Minister Kang said all parties will have to work carefully to ensure that the North remains at the table and that incremental monitoring and verification of denuclearization is closely coordinated with enhanced economic engagement. The United States plays a critical role as the lead for negotiations and discussions with Pyongyang on denuclearization, but it is important that talks are done in close consultation with South Korea and other countries in the region, she said.  

Browne and the UK parliamentarians recognized the important role of ROK President Moon Jae-in's leadership and his vision for peace and praised South Korea for their steadfast commitment to peace. “South Korea is a remarkable country that is rapidly emerging as an important leader in global security,” Browne said. “They have remained in pursuit of peace via engagement and dialogue in the face of many provocations and existential threat. This is something other countries could do well to learn from.”

 

July 19, 2018
Authors
Isabelle Williams
Isabelle Williams

Senior Advisor, Global Nuclear Policy Program

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