See More on Facebook

Diplomacy, Economics

Moon urges Japan to choose ‘path of dialogue and cooperation’

Japan and South Korea have been locked in an increasingly ugly trade spat.


Written by

Updated: August 16, 2019

President Moon Jae-in said Thursday that Seoul will cooperate with Tokyo if it retracts its recent trade restrictions, stressing the importance of international cooperation and free trade.

“Within the realm of the international division of labor, if any country weaponizes a sector where it has a comparative advantage, the peaceful free trade order will inevitably suffer damages,” Moon said in his Liberation Day speech.

“Better late than never. If Japan chooses the path of dialogue and cooperation, we will gladly join hands. We will strive with Japan to create an East Asia that engages in fair trade and cooperation,” Moon said.

“We have never dwelt on the past. Instead, we continued to engage in security and economic cooperation with Japan,” Moon said, going on to say that Seoul and Tokyo had in the past worked together to “practically assuage the suffering of victims from the Japanese colonial period.”

Saying he hopes the division of labor among different countries will prove to be the key to sustainable growth, Moon said Japan has achieved progress through “the division of labor on the platform of free trade order.”

In his speech, Moon also stressed the need for cooperation among different regions of the Korean Peninsula, including North Korea, and on the international stage, linking his vision for the future of his country to his New Southern Policy and New Northern Policy.

The New Southern Policy aims to strengthen ties with the ASEAN and with other nations to the south and west of the country, while the New Northern Policy is aimed at achieving similar goals with nations to the north of the peninsula.

In his speech, Moon said that while the country has made significant advances since 1945, it has yet to become “a nation that cannot be shaken,” citing a poem written in the year of liberation.

He put forward three objectives for building an unshakable nation: Uphold the free trade order and facilitate equitable cooperation in East Asia, build “a nation that serves as a bridge by taking the lead in promoting peace and prosperity on the continent and out in the ocean,” and establish a peace economy.

“We must turn our country’s geopolitical position into a strength. We must establish a clear goal to take the initiative and not be pushed around by others anymore,” Moon said, explaining his vision of South Korea as a “bridge” between the Eurasian landmass and the ocean.

“The New Northern Policy represents our aspiration to advance into the continent. We will expand the foundation for cooperation not only with China and Russia but also with Central Asia and Europe and lay a cornerstone for multilateral cooperation and security through the East Asian Railroad Community initiative.”

The East Asian Railroad Community initiative is an idea that Moon raised in his Liberation Day speech last year, saying he envisioned a community of nations connected by a rail network that would include the two Koreas as well as China and Russia.

Moon also elaborated on the role his New Southern Policy could play, saying South Korea’s relations with India and with the ASEAN nations would be upgraded to “a level equivalent to those with our major neighboring countries.” From there, he added, they could develop “a cooperative relationship for common prosperity.”

A “peace economy” is Moon’s economic vision for South Korea, and for the peninsula, based on improved inter-Korean relations following the denuclearization of North Korea.

In reiterating his vision for a “peace economy,” Moon also addressed the skepticism over its feasibility. Saying South Korea’s military capabilities outmatch those of the North, Moon stressed that the US should continue to seek dialogue with Pyongyang despite recent developments, adding that the skeptics should not “remain prisoners to ideology.”

US President Donald Trump has downplayed the significance of the North’s recent weapons tests, and said North Korean leader Kim Jong-un offered a “small apology” for the tests in a personal letter.

Going on to say that he would “solidify denuclearization and (establish a) peace regime on the Korean Peninsula” during his term, Moon set out bold goals for inter-Korean relations.

“We will advance dialogue and cooperation so that the seeds sown together with North Korea in the spring of peace will grow into trees of prosperity,” Moon said.

“I pledge to solidify the foundation so that we can successfully host the joint 2032 Seoul-Pyongyang Olympics and stand tall in the world as one Korea by achieving peace and unification by 2045, which will mark the 100th anniversary of liberation.”



Enjoyed this story? Share it.


The Korea Herald
About the Author: The Korea Herald is the nation’s largest English-language daily and the country’s sole member of the Asia News Network.

Eastern Briefings

All you need to know about Asia


Our Eastern Briefings Newsletter presents curated stories from 22 Asian newspapers from South, Southeast and Northeast Asia.

Sign up and stay updated with the latest news.



By providing us with your email address, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

View Today's Newsletter Here

Diplomacy, Economics

‘History will take note of those who ridiculed removal of Article 370’: PM Modi in Maharashtra

PM Modi also expressed confidence that the BJP will break all victory records in the October 21 Maharashtra Assembly elections. Prime Minister on Thursday once again lashed out at the opposition saying that history will take note of those who mocked the abrogation of Article 370, that gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir. “Whenever Article 370 will be discussed in history, — the decision that was taken in the interest of the country — the people who opposed and ridiculed will be remembered,” PM Modi said while addressing a poll rally in Maharashtra’s Parli. He said the next week’s state Assembly elections were a battle between BJP’s “karyashakti” (power of development) and opposition’s “swarth shakti” (selfishness). Further targeting the Congress and NCP leaders, he wondered if “frustrated and dejected” people could do anything good for people. “A Congress


By The Statesman
October 18, 2019

Diplomacy, Economics

More changes friendly to foreign investors on way in China

China is courting more FDI as their cash reserves run lower. China will roll out more measures friendly to foreign investors, including further removing business restrictions and leveling the playing field for foreign businesses, to foster a more enabling business environment and attract overseas investment. The decision was made on Wednesday at a State Council executive meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang. Meeting participants decided to open up more areas. Restrictive measures outside the national and FTZ negative lists on foreign investors’ market access will be consolidated. Restrictions will be lifted on the business scope for those foreign-invested banks, securities companies and fund management firms that are already operating in China. Policies on foreign investment in the automobile industry will be refined, including giving equal treatment in market access to domestic and foreig


By China Daily
October 18, 2019

Diplomacy, Economics

Malaysia’s PM Mahathir says rail line RTS linking Johor Baru to Singapore to proceed

The rail line has been on again and off again. Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad on Thursday (Oct 17) said Malaysia will proceed with the 4km Johor Baru to Singapore rail line. His comments about the Rapid Transit System (RTS) rail link followed that of Malaysian Transport Minister Anthony Loke on Tuesday that details of the project will be decided by the Malaysian Cabinet within two weeks. Tun Dr Mahathir said when asked by reporters on Thursday: “We will proceed with the RTS but we will take some time.” Asked if this meant the Malaysian government had resolved 


By The Straits Times
October 18, 2019

Diplomacy, Economics

S. Korean, ASEAN officials look ahead to special summit and stronger regional ties

Korea has increasingly look to Southeast Asia as an export destination and regional partners. Ahead of the highly anticipated summit in Busan next month between the leaders of South Korea and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, top officials from participating countries gathered in the southern port city Wednesday and voiced high expectations for the future of the relationship between South Korea and the ASEAN nations. South Korean Ambassador to ASEAN Lim Sung-nam, ASEAN-Korea Center Secretary-General Lee Hyuk, Busan Mayor Oh Keo-don and Myanmar Ambassador to South Korea U Thant Sin said they looked forward to the upcoming summit, calling it a steppingstone to stronger South Korea-ASEAN ties and to economic prosperity and peace on the Korean Peninsula. “In the past 30 years, the relationship between South Korea and ASEAN has grown to an astonishing degree. Trade volume rose 20-fold and human e


By The Korea Herald
October 18, 2019

Diplomacy, Economics

BOK slashes key rate to record-low 1.25%

The government hopes to stimulate a stagnating economy. South Korea’s central bank on Wednesday cut the country’s key interest rate to 1.25 percent, reflecting the sluggish economic growth, low inflation and declining exports. Its second rate cut in three months — to the lowest ever level — is in line with the global trend toward monetary easing. “We have cut the base rate considering the lower-than-expected growth outlook and low inflation,” said Bank of Korea Gov. Lee Ju-yeol in a press conference.The BOK’s rate-setting Monetary Policy Board decided to lower the base rate by 25 basis points from 1.5 percent that it had set three months ago. The move paralleled the US Fed Reserve’s decision last month to lower its key interest rate to the 1.75-2 percent range, down 25 basis points from the previous 2-2.25 percent range. The BOK board cited contractions in trade, sl


By The Korea Herald
October 17, 2019

Diplomacy, Economics

We will never abandon people of occupied Kashmir, says Army chief during LoC visit

The army chief said that the Pakistan army will fulfil its role no matter the cost. Army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa while visiting troops stationed along the Line of Control (LoC) on Wednesday vowed “to never leave Kashmiris alone” in their fight against Indian oppression. “Kashmiris in IOJ&K are bravely facing Indian atrocities under continued siege. We shall never leave them alone and play our rightful role at whatever cost”, said Gen Bajwa. Gen Bajwa’s remarks followed a briefing of the “deliberate targeting of civilians” by Indian troops and the response by Pakistan’s armed forces. A day earlier, at least three civilians died and eight others were injured in Azad Jammu and Kashmir after Indian troops resorted to “indiscri


By Dawn
October 17, 2019