“Peace on the Korean Peninsula and in Northeast Asia
is an important prerequisite for global peace
and serves as the foundation
for protecting and expanding our freedom and that of global citizens.
Denuclearization of North Korea is essential
for sustainable peace on the Korean Peninsula,
in Northeast Asia and around the world.
The Audacious Initiative that I envision
will significantly improve
North Korea’s economy and its people’s livelihoods in stages
if the North ceases the development of its nuclear program
and embarks on a genuine and substantive process for denuclearization.”
Address by President Yoon Suk Yeol on Liberation Day, August 15, 2022
The government of the Republic of Korea (ROK) will create a strategic environment that leaves North Korea no choice but to return to denuclearization talks. To this end, the ROK government will continue to take a holistic approach that deters North Korea’s nuclear threats, dissuades Pyongyang’s nuclear development, and pursues dialogue and diplomacy. In this sense, the ‘Audacious Initiative’ is already set in motion.
The ROK government will work towards a comprehensive agreement on the overall roadmap of the denuclearization process. The ROK is ready to take an initial set of actions at the start of the negotiations, once North Korea returns to the negotiations table with sincerity.
One example of the initial set of actions that can be taken during the negotiations phase includes the Resources-Food Exchange Program(R-FEP). This program will permit limited export of North Korea’s sanctioned mineral resources by using sanctions exemptions, and allow Pyongyang to use the revenue to procure daily necessities such as food, fertilizers and medicine.
Also, even during the negotiations, we are willing to try out pilot projects to improve North Korean people’s livelihood in the areas of public health, drinking water and agriculture. Such projects could be further expanded in tandem with progress made in denuclearization of North Korea.
The ROK government is ready to provide a set of corresponding measures encompassing political, economic and military aspects, once North Korea embarks on the path of substantive denuclearization. The following are examples of economic corresponding measures that we could implement and possibly further expand, commensurate with North Korea’s denuclearization steps.
- provide assistance for its power generation, transmission and distribution infrastructure
- modernize ports and airports for international trade
- modernize medical infrastructure and hospitals
- provide assistance for agricultural technology
- provide assistance for international investment and finance
Furthermore, some of the political and military corresponding measures we could consider include providing diplomatic assistance for normalizing the US-DPRK bilateral relations and starting discussions on disarmament of conventional weapons.
While North Korea’s nuclear weapon programs are a threat not only to our security and that of Northeast Asia, the door to dialogue will remain open so that we can peacefully resolve this threat.
North Korea’s denuclearization will greatly contribute to bringing
sustainable peace and prosperity
on the Korean Peninsula and beyond.
Inaugural Address by President Yoon Suk Yeol, May 10th 2022