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외교부

장관

송민순 장관 제4차 제주평화포럼 오찬사(영문)

작성일
2007-06-23
조회수
3558

Remarks

 

by

H.E. Mr. Song Min-Soon

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade

of

the Republic of Korea

 

 

at a Luncheon at

the Fourth Jeju Peace Forum

 

22 June, 2007

Jeju, Korea

 

Excellencies, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Before I begin my remarks, I have to confess that this is my third visit to Jeju Island this year and the previous visit was just three weeks ago. I thought I was Foreign Minister of Korea, but now I think I can call myself Foreign Minister of Jeju Island.

Now, I would first like to offer my sincere congratulations on the opening of the Fourth Jeju Peace Forum. I am very pleased to host this luncheon for such an outstanding group of participants.

Since its launch in 2001, the Jeju Peace Forum has served as a valued venue for an international exchange of views on peace and security in Northeast Asia. It is my sincere hope that this forum will indeed prove a great success.

(Security Situation in Northeast Asia and North Korean Nuclear Issue)

Northeast Asia is one of the most dynamic regions in the world today, and we are witnessing a rapid increase in the economic interdependence among the countries in the region. However, complex security concerns represent obstacles to securing a durable peace in the region. The North Korean nuclear issue, the deep-rooted differences in perceptions of history and the overlapping territorial claims are some of these concerns that hang over Northeast Asia.

In particular, the most pressing security challenge facing Northeast Asia is the North Korean nuclear issue. At the center of our efforts to find a solution lies the Six-Party Talks.  

In light of the strategic interests at stake, we can not concede or compromise over the task of ensuring that North Korea gives up all nuclear weapons and nuclear programs. It is imperative that this goal must be achieved. Hence, the need for us to make a strategic investment to this end.

Now that the Banco Delta Asia(BDA) issue has been resolved, the Six-Party Talks process is back on track and bilateral consultations among participating countries are gathering momentum with Assistant Secretary Hill’s visit to North Korea this week and other diplomatic interactions.

It is our sincere hope that there will be prompt progress towards the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula in accordance with the February 13th Agreement. For our part, we will faithfully fulfill our commitment, including the provision of the initial tranche of heavy fuel oil.

(Six-Party Talks Process and Northeast Asia Multilateral Security Cooperation)

The Six-Party Talks is a comprehensive process which seeks to address the various interests of the participating countries. Through this process, we aim to achieve a change in North Korea’s threat perception and convince the North that it will be better off without the nuclear weapons in its arsenal. Because simply calling for denuclearization will not be enough to make North Korea to give up nuclear weapons. 

It was precisely on this point that the Presidents of the Republic of Korea and the United States shared a strategic perception and agreed upon a common and broad approach last year. Such strategic thinking is also well reflected in the September 19 Joint Statement of 2005 which lays out the goals and principles of the Six-Party Talks. As the denuclearization moves forward, it will also facilitate the peace process on the Korean Peninsula and Northeast Asia. In this respect as well, the September 19 Joint Statement holds great significance. 

As the blueprint for a denuclearized Korean Peninsula, the Joint Statement sets out comprehensive goals. Not only is the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula stated, but the normalization of US-North Korea and Japan-North Korea relations, the establishment of a peace regime on the Korean Peninsula and a Northeast Asia multilateral security framework are also included. 

These are integral elements of the peace process and, as we make progress on all these elements, we will come closer to the building of a post-Cold War peace order in Northeast Asia. Moreover, the experience and confidence gained from a successful resolution of the North Korean nuclear issue through a regional dialogue will prove to be valuable assets for the countries of this region to address other security challenges in the future.

Therefore, as far as Northeast Asian countries are concerned, the resolution of the North Korean nuclear issue signifies much more than the nuclear non-proliferation success. It represents an opportunity for us to pool our collective wisdom and launch an effective regional security framework in Northeast Asia, as was eloquently presented in President Roh’s keynote speech this morning.

(European Experience and Its Implication for Northeast Asia)

The European experience of promoting trust through dialogue offers us in this part of the world a valuable food for thought. Europe succeeded in laying the foundations for regional stability and integration through a process of constant dialogue and cooperation within the OSCE framework.

The OSCE paved the way for security cooperation through a process of CBMs (Confidence-Building Measures) over a considerable time.  So, it is obvious that there is a need to sow the seeds of peace through confidence-building. The engagement policy that the Korean government has been pursuing is designed to enhance inter-Korean confidence-building and the easing of tensions on the Peninsula. A prime example is the Gaesung Industrial Complex where 700 South Koreans and 15,000 North Koreans are working together every day.  It is our expectation that the trust built through this and other projects will play a positive role in the process of inter-Korean cooperation and integration.

Of course, given the different backgrounds in the two regions, it would not be easy to apply the experience of Europe to Northeast Asia. However, I believe that if the countries of Northeast Asia unite in their commitment to achieving the aim of lasting peace, they will be able to benefit from the European experience in their own efforts to promote cooperation and integration in this region.

Actually the Trilateral Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, which was held about three weeks ago, we had a very useful discussion in a quite in-depth manner. Three foreign ministers discussed the regional security, confidence-building measures, the expansion of trade, the protection of environment, energy security, climate change and cultural exchanges. This Trilateral Foreign Ministers’ Meeting was a rare occasion and then three foreign ministers agreed to continue this practice of holding trilateral foreign ministers’ meeting. Japan will take the next turn, and I think we can expand the participants, scope and the agenda in the coming years.

With that in mind, the road to peace is long and arduous, but we cannot afford to give up our quest. With determination and patience, the Korean government will work with other countries to make this region more peaceful and prosperous.

I think that the participants here must have discussed the need for activating the Track Ⅰ regional security cooperation dialogue. We, in the Six Party Talks, agreed to set up a working group on the regional security cooperation and dialogue. In this regard, I hope that soon Jeju will become the venue for the Track Ⅰregional security cooperation dialogue. Russia is now the chair for the working group on the regional security cooperation and dialogue of the Six Party Talks. So, the first meeting may be held somewhere in Russia, but I hope that Jeju could be the venue for the next round.

 

Excellences, Ladies and Gentlemen,

I would like to call upon everyone here today to offer their full support for success in our concerted efforts for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, the achievement of a peace process, and the launch of a regional security dialogue.

Before I conclude my remarks, I want to say that Jeju Island is famous for three abundances - wind, stone and very able women. And today, I think through this Forum, you are going to add one more category of abundances, that is, the wisdom for peace - abundance of wisdom of peace for the regional security and cooperation. Thank you.   /End/


 

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