“I will create peace on the Korean Peninsula through inter-Korea dialogue and cooperation against a backdrop of firm national security,” independent progressive presidential hopeful Ahn Cheol Soo revealed at a policy briefing yesterday.
Ahn, presenting his vision of North Korea policy, went on, “Right now we must reinforce our North Korea policy and inter-Korea relations, which waver every time there is a change of administration.”
“We will make sure that important agreements between South and North will be agreed to by the National Assembly and carry legal weight,” he went on, before adding, “This way, even if the administration changes, policy on inter-Korea relations will not go back and forth every time the government changes.”
“North Korea must cast aside its nuclear weapons,” he stated, before noting, “First we must start a dialogue, and then bring economic cooperation and a range of other issues to the table.”
He added, “We must learn to live together through both inter-Korean dialogue and cooperation and normalization of relations with countries including the U.S. We must work together to create a peace regime in for the Korean Peninsula and Northeast Asia.”
He emphasized, “That is the spirit that started with the inter-Korean Basic Agreement and continued with the June 15th North-South Joint Declaration, October 4th Joint Declaration and the September 19th Joint Declaration agreement between the two Koreas, the U.S., Japan, China and Russia.”
However, Ahn was non-committal on the future of the May 24th Measures that followed North Korea’s sinking of the Cheonan, noting, “We need to first start a conversation.”
“I think it is right for dialogue to come first, then other issues such as an apology, preventing recurrence of similar events, economic cooperation and private negotiations can be put on the table,” he explained.