president moon jae-in took over the main
headlines of Tuesday with his highly anticipated New Year’s address keywords
stood out in a speech including a peace and evident change the president has
vowed to continue efforts to create momentum to improve inter-korean
relations and speed up stalled North Korea u.s. nuclear talks while assuring
that the government will make evident changes in the nation’s economy specific
ways to achieve those pledges were also laid out today we dissect the
president’s New Year’s message with doctors homes had Yun professor at Cal
King University it’s great to have you with us good to be here
president during his New Year’s address said that much of the efforts were
focused on facilitating the talks between North Korea and the US and 2019
but today he emphasized that while keeping those efforts alive the two
Koreas should try and enhance cooperation at the same time what does
this imply to the president’s long sought peace drive on the Korean
Peninsula right in this address we again reconfirmed against his resolve to push
through the the peace process Korean Peninsula peace process there are three
parts to it we all knew that there is a stop the war mutual security assurance
but the third part is a prosperity through economic projects and all those
and that goes more to the inter-korean relations relationships and I think that
the president moon feels that because we’ve focused too much on the North
Korea and the u.s. relationship and now how he has stalled he feels that there
is a much to be done in the third part of it and also the inter-korean
relationship I think that’s why he has a flurry of new or renewed proposals and
offers to – to North Korea and probably he wants to get that that aspect going
in order to kind of help along what the the u.s. and North Korea is going
in terms of dialogues president moon also laid out specific measures to make
new progress and inter-korean cooperation he mentioned about boosting
cooperation on borderline provinces and called on joint efforts for Co
registering of DMZ as the unesco world heritage which is also linked to
president moons proposal made last year on turning DMZ into a global peace zone
how feasible are his newly suggested measures to boost inter-korean
cooperation ostensibly it is possible to have that project going because those
are not subject to sanctions explicitly and so if the North wants to cooperate
there is a chance to do it I think the the problem is that the North Korea is
not looking to kind of go with those kind of soft projects at this point it
seems like their bellicose messages and and escalating this tension is at this
point would not really jive well with those soft approaches and and the
cultural projects so in that sense I think there there might be a point where
this artificially imposed deadline from the North Korea about the u.s. actions
if that’s up sized or if that doesn’t go anywhere probably they’ll have to find
new ways to get the get the dialogue going
probably that might be one of the options so the biggest remaining
obstacle you would say is North Korea’s hostile attitude toward South Korea
great point I guess fundamentally whether they are on board with the
Korean Peninsula peace process and if they see the merits of that probably a
lot of things can piss facilitate but the evidence is so far has been that
their criticism about the South Korea and the lack of role
kosecki singularly focused on whether the South Korean actions would help that
the talk between the North Korea and the u.s. so they have to kind of expand the
horizons to get the overall packages of the peace process
going and again that requires North Korea kind of getting on board squarely
on the peace process oh three prongs abit another highlight of president ones
address today was his invitation to Kim Jungman to visit South Korea he called
an efforts to create conditions the right conditions to materialize Kim
jong-un’s promised visit to Seoul which is after the second time the president
has made such proposal since September of 2018 how do you gauge the possibility
of Kim jong-un crossing the border to the south in the near future I think
it’s in the same vein whether Kim sees the value of that it’s a continuation of
North South Korea relationship so that there would be a major step in that
direction as any of the summit meetings would would would be so in that sense if
the North sees that by visiting South Korea if that helps South Korea to talk
to the North Korea to you know make the better relationship among the three of
them probably that would be the avenue to go but as I mentioned before North
Korea at this point is focused on escalating tensions and putting pressure
to to the Donald Trump in his bid to re-election and so on and so forth so at
this point it doesn’t really create a environment to where Kim would visit
South Korea and become become a big message to to the United States at this
point so I don’t think he sees the value at this point but things could quickly
change as the new years progress and those artificial deadlines kind of runs
its course probably they’ll come up with new plans
what do you think is President when Jane’s strategy if you will of
re-invited Kim jong-un during his New Year’s address
I think he almost he has to at this point his whole theme of the new
addresses new direction more concrete actions and rather than proposing
entirely new things he wants to kind of progress or make progress on the
previous talks that have happening and the Kim’s visit to South Korea is
certainly the one of them and also DMZ development and also road projects that
north-south they have talked about those are the kind of a low-hanging fruit so
to speak if they want to engage because that the talks have progressed to some
extent before but again you know it comes down to whether the North Korea is
willing to go to that route other specific measures suggested by president
moon today include co-hosting of 2032 Olympic Games Coe entrance of North
Korean and South Korean athletes during this year’s Tokyo Olympics mm-hmm and
also a forming a north-south unified team for certain Olympic events you’ve
mentioned that North Korea wants something bigger but how do you expect
North Korea to react to these proposals right remember the North Korea’s
overture of a peace that started the dialogue with the US started with the
sports events Pyongyang Olympic Games their participation zuv it
so this culture and sports events is always a good option on a soft option to
go to that route again we come to a point to weather weather that is useful
probably not in the relationship between north and United States because they way
their way past that stage but in terms of north-south relationship probably
that will be a major events that they can make some progress between two
countries in many different fronts of cooperation so I think the moon has sees
a very significant value to that and depending on what happens with the North
Korea and the US if that stalls further
probably north would say well we have to go down this route and start up the this
talk peace process or the talk process again so that North Korea can come
around I mean the US could come around but that’s I think of the month or two
away from this point president moon also mentioned about his long-sought goal of
connecting inter-korean roads and railways and China and Russia has
recently requested to the UN for sanctions waiver on those projects as
well how feasible is the plan though depends on the president moons vision in
this area I think that in the road projects especially his diplomatic
abilities or his influence could then net some better fruits than just
focusing on the North Korea and the u.s. because the road projects in this region
at least to China is a significantly invested in it they’re involved in the
Russia is involved so having a good relationship with those who are
benefiting from this project probably there might be some agreements or some
projects to be done and that requires that concrete actions
from moon and that has to be in in difficult maneuvering with the what the
US wants in this region how a steer there will be about the any kind of
economic cooperation that happening in this region not only from South and
North Korea but with the China and Russia now to the economy the moon
administration has injected the largest sum of money in Korea’s history into the
job market which actually led to the highest employment rate Korea has seen
but although the job quality remains debatable right how do you assess our
government’s economic achievements 20:19 well the criticisms are that those
projects are not sustainable because if it’s a fiscal policy or a budget driven
then when the money runs out wouldn’t what happens to those jobs but I would
look at it more there hopefully because any kind of stimulus to the economy it
is a good beginning but then it has to be followed up by the structural changes
in the economy so that those changes that he made would be self-financing
rather than just putting government money into it so on and so forth
so I think that the success of that that they report cart of on those actions
would depend on what he does next I think he talked about the changes this
year I hope that includes a structural reforms in the economy because without
that probably that will kind of fall wayside so a structural reform is a must
to achieve president moons what he called evident to make evident changes
in the new year right especially in the venture sectors there are some
significant legislations that did not pass I think the president mentioned
that so his diplomatic or the the political abilities to bring those
together so that these lawmakers would pass there was a structural reform bill
probably that would go to the credit of his ability to revive the economy in the
new year now prosecutorial reform is another huge
agenda for president moon Jane and as part of the efforts the president and
the cabinet members today approved the bill passed by the Parliament to set up
an agency that will look into corruption by high-ranking government officials
your thoughts on president moon’s core processor real reform I think even
before he he pushed that that prosecutorial reform had a pretty broad
base the support that has to happen because it was a legacy from the
previous kind of regime I’m talking about the 70s and 80s so not just the
immediate Regine so in that sense I think the
devil is in the details I think the people quibble over how to get there
rather than whether we should get there or not so we got about seven months I
guess when that agency comes into a real physical being so I think that a lot of
details has to be worked out especially focusing on how we ensure that the
independence of that agency would make sure that the goal of making a agency
that really serve have a check and balance on any kind of a high level
civil servants corruption issues that is an issue none
III think the direction is there so it’s a matter of making direct making that
happen with a sufficiently competent details
and and the mechanisms to make sure that that happens before you go could you sum
up president ones New Year’s message for us today and what do you think are the
main factors that will propel his goals I think that he faces a lot of
uncertainties not only the u.s. job us-china relationship korea-japan
relationship and and north and the u.s. that influences our economic issues and
diplomatic issues as well peace and economy those were his key words I think
he has a direction right which is that Korea needs to step up to give more
flesh to those directions the Korea’s role has to step up in the the peace
process not just looking at what happens in North Korea in the US and also in the
economy he briefly talked about the structural reforms those are the
tangible actions that has to be really driven by the government in the new year
we cannot just look back and say well this is what’s happening all right many
thanks to you dr. song as always we appreciate the time tonight thank you

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