Speaking Sunday at a ceremony to mark Liberation Day, Moon said that the division of the Korean Peninsula is the biggest obstacle to growth, prosperity and peace.
“Although unification may take some more time, we can create a Korean Peninsula model in which the two Koreas coexist and contribute to the prosperity of Northeast Asia as a whole through denuclearization and permanent peace on the Peninsula. Firmly institutionalizing peace on the Korean Peninsula is sure to benefit both Koreas greatly.”
Moon’s final Liberation Day address was focused on a vision of peace for the long term, rather than making new overtures as he has done before.
Cross-border relations have been on edge, with North Korea cutting off communication lines just two weeks after restoring them in protest against joint military drills by South Korea and the U.S.
There has been speculation about an inter-Korean summit, albeit virtually, or a surprise turnaround at the upcoming UN General Assembly next month.
Sunday’s ceremony was held at Culture Station Seoul 284 in central Seoul historic site symbolic of Korea’s fight against Japanese imperialism.
To Japan President Moon said that South Korea has always been ready to talk to settle pending issues.
Ties between the two countries have been strained over issues such as Tokyo’s wartime use of forced labor and sexual slavery as well as its export restrictions on Seoul.
Moon said historical issues need to be solved in accordance with international standards.
“Our government has always kept the door open for dialogue to jointly respond not only to our two countries’ pending issues but also threats facing the world, such as COVID-19. I hope South Korea and Japan pool their wisdom and overcome difficulties together, setting an example of cooperation expected between neighbors.”
On COVID-19, Moon announced a new inoculation target saying that 70 percent of the South Korean population will be fully vaccinated by October.
Currently, around 11 percent of the population have received both doses while 36 percent have got their first shot.
“By October, 70% of the total population will have received their second shots and the vaccination rate goal will be raised further.”
Moon vowed to spare no effort to bring the first domestically developed vaccine to market in the first half of next year and for South Korea to become a global vaccine production hub.
Kim Min-ji, Arirang News.