South Korean President Moon Jae-in said Tuesday that the time is approaching for the resumption of dialogue with the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), emphasizing the importance of the Panmunjom Declaration announced three years earlier.
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"The Panmunjom Declaration is a milestone of peace that can not be harmed by anyone. The path of peace, promised in the declaration, can not be set back under any circumstance," Moon told a regular cabinet meeting, according to the presidential Blue House.
The president referred to the declaration made on April 27, 2018 following the first summit between Moon and top DPRK leader Kim Jong Un in the inter-Korean border village of Panmunjom.
Through the declaration, the two leaders agreed to improve inter-Korean relations, de-escalate military tensions on the Korean Peninsula and make efforts for permanent peace, while confirming a common goal of building a nuclear-free peninsula via complete denuclearization.
Moon said the security situations on the peninsula have been managed more stably than ever despite the difficulties in developing the Panmunjom declaration, but he noted that the current peace is an unaccomplished one.
"(We) should move toward irreversible, permanent peace on the foundation of the Panmunjom Declaration. Time is approaching to end a long deliberation and resume dialogue (with the DPRK)," Moon noted.
Moon expressed an anticipation that his summit meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden, set to be held in Washington in late May, would become an opportunity to closely coordinate the DPRK policy and set its right direction.
He added that it is time to prepare for turning the "peace clock" again based on lessons taken after suffering pains.
Denuclearization talks between Pyongyang and Washington have been stalled since the summit talks between the DPRK leader and former U.S. President Donald Trump ended without agreement in February 2019 at the Vietnamese capital of Hanoi.