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Speeches and Contributions

Congratulatory Speech at the seminar marking the establishment of the Korean Peninsula Peace Economy Forum


Congratulatory Speech at the seminar marking the establishment of the Korean Peninsula Peace Economy Forum

 13:30 on August 20, 2019, at the head office building of the Federation of Korean

Congratulatory Speech

By Unification Minister Kim Yeon Chul

Good afternoon.

It is good to see you all. I am Unification Minister Kim Yeon Chul.

I would like to express my sincere congratulations to you on establishing the Korean Peninsula Peace Economy Forum.

I am very pleased to have reliable friends on the journey toward peace and prosperity, and I would like to extend my gratitude to Executive Vice-chairperson Kim Deog-ryong of the National Unification Advisory Council, Chairman Jung In-sung of the Korean Peninsula Peace Economy Forum, and others concerned for their hard work.

My heartfelt appreciation also goes to Governor Won Hee-ryong of Jeju Special Self-governing Province, key National Assembly members from the ruling and opposition parties in the fields of foreign affairs, security, and the peace economy, and Chairman Huh Chang-soo of the Federation of Korean Industries for taking time out of their busy schedules to participate in this meaningful event.

Today, the seminar consists of two sessions of presentations and discussions under the theme of the “Vision for the New Korean Peninsula System and the Peace Economy, and Public-Private Governance.”

I have no doubt that the top experts joining us today will offer significant new insights in their discussions.

Distinguished guests,
A few days ago, President Moon Jae-in emphasized the need for the “peace economy” in his Liberation Day speech.

Although inter-Korean relations have been stalled and it is difficult to predict the situation in Northeast Asia, our way forward is clear.

Last year, the leaders of South and North Korea declared the advent of an era of peace free of war.

Now is the time for us to blossom a flower of the economy on the land of peace.

We must open an era of the peace economy in which peace lays a solid foundation for economic development and then economic growth further solidifies peace.

The two Koreas should respect and cooperate with each other and open the path to common prosperity.

Only then can we transform the Korean Peninsula from a “geopolitical misfortune” into a “geoeconomical fortune.”

If the transportation network including railways and roads is connected between the two Koreas, the Korean Peninsula will become a bridge country that connects the continent and the ocean.

A systematic link to the New Northern Policy and New Southern Policy will lay the foundation for an economic community and multilateral security cooperation in East Asia.

However, this future will not come to us like good luck.

We must take the initiative and realize this future, and we can do this only when the two Koreas work hard to restore their mutual trust. This will necessarily be a long, drawn-out challenge because they have confronted and distrusted each other for such a long time.

Some people say that the government is overly optimistic about the peace economy.

However, we need to remember that the European Coal and Steel Community, the organization most symbolic of the peace economy, was launched in 1951.

The peace economy of Europe emerged from the ruins of war. The situation on the Korean Peninsula rather highlights the need for the peace economy.

The flower of the economy thrives only when we make and keep peace. Amid the chaos created by the international division of labor, the peace economy is a key survival strategy for us.

Some people talk about the economy while denying peace. However, flowers cannot bloom in the air.

The government will trust and work together with the people to turn the current difficulties into an opportunity and move toward a Korean Peninsula of peace and prosperity.

It will be sure to take full advantage of the precious chance of the peace economy, which is something only our country can have.
I believe that if all the people are earnestly united in this effort, the dream will indeed be realized.

With patience, the government will carry out the agreements made at the inter-Korean joint declarations step by step and be all set to pursue cooperation in more fields and pick up the speed.

In this regard, the Korean Peninsula Peace Economy Forum that starts today is especially meaningful.

I expect that the forum will produce a variety of creative alternatives to open an era of the peace economy on the Korean Peninsula.

I also ask you to build a public consensus on the peace economy. The government will do everything it can to support your activities.

Once again, I congratulate you on establishing the Korean Peninsula Peace Economy Forum, and I look forward to its remarkable activities.

Thank you.