(President Moon Jae-in (right) holds an interview with CCTV news anchor Shui Junyi, at Cheong Wa Dae on Dec. 8.)
President Moon Jae-in shared his thoughts on the situation on the Korean Peninsula, as well as his thoughts on relations between Korea and China, during an interview with China’s state-run China Central Television (CCTV) on Dec. 8.
The interview was done prior to the president’s upcoming state visit to Beijing that starts on Dec. 13 and runs until Dec. 16.
In the 30-minute interview, aired on the Chinese channel at 10:30 p.m. that day, President Moon stressed that, “Korea and China are inseparable neighbors that have a natural cooperative relationship.”
The president said about his upcoming state visit that, “My biggest goal is to bring back trust to our bilateral relationship. Both countries have grown bilateral ties by leaps and bounds across various fields over the past 25 years, since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1992. However, due to the latest conflict surrounding the deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system, this trusting relationship has significantly fallen apart. My state visit to Beijing will hopefully help to rebuild trust and promote amicable sentiments between our two peoples."
When asked about his thoughts about his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, President Moon mentioned the Chinese proverb that, “Strangers at first meeting, friends at the second, and old buddies by the third” (“一回生, 二回熟 三回老朋友”). “As I will meet President Xi Jinping for the third time in Beijing, I hope that we will become as close as old friends,” he stressed.
The president continued to say that he and Xi have a lot in common in terms of their philosophy on managing a government. “While Xi focuses on creating a well-off society, I advocate a people-centered economy. I hope we will work together to open a new era in our relationship,” he said.
President Moon Jae-in talks about the Seoul-Beijing diplomatic relationship that has continued for 25 years, in an interview with CCTV at Cheong Wa Dae on Dec. 8.
Regarding North Korean nuclear weapons issues, President Moon said that, “The most crucial thing to do to lead North Korea down a path toward denuclearization is close cooperation between Seoul and Beijing. Both countries share the insistence on zero tolerance for nuclear weapons and the insistence of implementing stronger sanctions and pressure on the regime to stop it from carrying out further provocations. At the same time, we share the belief that we must address North Korean issues in a peaceful manner.”
“I believe that we will meet with good results if we work closely to make Pyongyang return to dialog,” he added.
President Moon also mentioned next year’s PyeongChang 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, saying that, “Four years following the PyeongChang Winter Games, the next Olympic Winter Games will be held in Beijing. I believe that our two countries will take advantage of these two consecutive Olympic Winter Games held in Asia to increase bilateral exchanges in sports and tourism.”