S. Korea seeks Germany’s support in pressing N. Korea

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BERLIN — President Moon Jae-in, currently on his visit to Germany for the annual Group of 20 summit, met with his German counterparts on the first day of the trip and reconfirmed the two states’ partnership, focusing on peninsular peace and energy policies.

Moon attended a summit respectively with German Federal Republic President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and de facto state chief Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin on Wednesday, local time.

“In order to deter North Korea‘s provocations, stronger international sanctions and pressure are needed, an issue which I wish to discuss at the G-20 summit,“ Moon said in a joint press conference prior to his dinner summit with Merkel.

”But in the end, I believe that the North Korean nuclear problem should be solved in a peaceful way, and for this I ask for your full support and cooperation.“

The South Korean leader also requested that Germany, as this year’s presidency for the G-20 summit, encourages member countries to adopt an official statement concerning North Korea.

“Though an official statement requires the consensus of the member states, we may consider including a related message in our statement as presidency,” Merkel said.

“It would be nonsense not to address the North Korean issue at the G-20 summit.”

President Moon Jae-in shakes hands with German counterpart Angela Merkel over a summit held in Berlin on Wednesday, local time. (Yonhap)

The two state chiefs also agreed that their bilateral partnership in the economic field should be expanded in the new and renewable energy sector so as to trigger a new sustainable growth momentum for the future.

President Moon vowed last month to convert the nation’s energy sources to environment-friendly ones, a move which seemed to take after Germany‘s decision in 2011 to completely abolish nuclear power.

Both also agreed that employment should a high priority factor in their nation‘s socioeconomic vision.

”I believe that (South Korea) much resembles Germany, which was home to the social market economy model,“ Moon said, calling for joint efforts from both countries on economic agendas.

Highly anticipated to win her fourth term as chancellor this September, Merkel will likely remain Moon’s counterpart throughout most of his five-year presidency. Under Germany’s parliamentary government system, executive administrative powers are mostly bestowed upon the chancellor while the president assumes a symbolic role.

In a separate meeting with Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Moon reinterated his pledge to keep a two-way track with North Korea — responding to its military provocations with stronger sanctions, while maintaining a peaceful communication.

“I am concerned that the persisting nuclear and missile provocations from the North will ratchet tension and lead to a military clash. Never again should there be a war on the Korean Peninsula,“ Moon said.

It is for such reason that South Korea, along with the international society, should not renounce efforts to induce the North back into the negotiating table, he added.

”Germany has not only overcome its division, but also has experience in arbitrating the US and Iran to solve the latter’s nuclear problem,“ Moon said, requesting for Germany‘s advice on denuclearizing talks with North Korea.

Steinmeier, who previously served as foreign minister, first in 2005-2009 and later in 2013-2017, expressed concerns over the recent situations of the Korean Peninsula.

”It is true that the possibility of inter-Korean unification has diminished,“ he said, nevertheless urgin the Korean people to keep up their hope.

By Bae Hyun-jung
Korea Herald correspondent


Source  :  The Korea Herald

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