In a meeting with foreign reporters, Chair Rep. Choo Mi-ae of the ruling Democratic Party of Korea also stressed it was crucial that the two Koreas and the US declare an end to the Korean War, so that they can carry on discussions on peace treaty.
|Ruling Democratic Party of Korea's Chairwoman Rep. Choo Mi-ae (Yonhap)|
“I believe in Kim’s definite will to make success of the upcoming summit with the US, and would like to tell Kim today, that it is his duty of the era, and responsibility to do so,” Choo said.
Referring to the parliamentary speech she gave last year demanding Kim to stop isolating North Korea, she said Kim is of the “market generation” who understand the benefits of market economy.
While the 1953 Korean Armistice Agreement led to the cease-fire on Korean Peninsula, it was signed by the US, China and North Korea. But Choo acknowledged South Korea should also take part in replacing the armistice agreement into a peace treaty.
“Some claim that South Korea is not a party related to the armistice agreement, based on what happened at the time of war. The government led by Syngman Rhee at the time did not admit the existence of North Korea, and held pride that the South is the only legitimate regime on the peninsula,” Choo said.
“That’s why we did not participate in the armistice agreement. But over the long period of history, we restored relations via the July 4 Joint Statement and June 15 Agreement. We cannot deny the fact that South Korea was fighting in the war, and we should be included to declare the end to the war with the North and the US.”
As for a successful summit expected on June 12 between US President Donald Trump and North’s Kim, Rep. Choo highlighted it was only the beginning of the negotiating process with the North and that all should be patient.
“We can also see that the US started to understand what is the key and core of this problem. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo even said the agreement with the North should be ratified at the US Senate for lasting effect,” Choo said, adding that the summit would be the time for the two leaders to confirm each other’s trust-building.
When asked about on their reactions to President Trump’s letter to the North Korean leader on May 24 to call off the scheduled US-North Korea summit, Rep. Choo said it gave her sleepless nights, and talked about the sincerity of President Moon Jae-in on the issue with North Korea.
“What President Moon has declared in the Berlin speech, and repeatedly says, is not political rhetoric. He is bound to his words, and when he says it, he means to act on it. If the North and the US are not sincere in dealing with each other, like they had been in the past, we are clear that they should be corrected,” she said.
“And I believe that it was also Moon’s sincerity that put the North Korea and US summit fast on track, into a normal state, and that it is one of the factors that has made President Trump to change his course.”
On the US-South Korea alliance, Rep. Choo said South Korea was a good ally to the United States, expressing confidence in the relationship.
“Unlike in Korea, the president in the US appears to have more power in trading and economic policies. And when he talked of possibilities of reconsidering the alliance (with South Korea), it is often when we clash on economic issues,” Choo explained. “I think Trump sometimes exaggerates facts and makes such statement in order to meet demands for domestic politics.”
As for the US Armed Forces in South Korea, Rep. Choo drew a line, saying that the government has announced several times that it is an issue to be dealt by the ROK-US Combined Forces Command, and that it is not related to the peace treaty talks.
“I also heard that in 2000, when late former South Korean President Kim Dae-jung and North Korean predecessor Kim Jong-il declared the June 15 joint statement, they both agreed to allow the US forces to stay here. And since then, there has not been any clash of opinion as far as the Moon administration and our (liberal) faction is concerned,” she said.
By Jo He-rim (firstname.lastname@example.org)