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President Moon will leave all options open if talks with North Korea get underway Updated: 2017-11-15 11:57:57 KST


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Rizal Park, Metro Manila

"Manila. South Korean President Moon Jae-in traveled here with two agenda in mind. One, building stronger ties with the ASEAN and two, rallying support for South Korea's policy vis-a-vis North Korea's nuclear weapons program.
And, today here in the Philippines, the first Asian country to send combat troops to the Korean War more than half a century ago, 18 leaders representing the Asia Pacific region adopted a joint statement dubbed the Manila Declaration."

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"We urge North Korea to stop provocative and threatening actions and create conditions conducive for dialogue."

Included in the Chair's Statement concluding the ASEAN Plus Three Summit is a direct and blunt message to North Korea in support for South Korean President Moon Jae-in's campaign for sanctions for talks, lasting peace on the Korean peninsula and PyeongChang 2018 as Olympics for Peace.

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That's a point for the six-months old president and his aides and the South Korean leader will not hide it.

"I believe we have been successful in drawing nearly perfect support from all East Asian countries including members of the ASEAN on our position regarding North Korea's nuclear weapons program."
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During a surprise visit to the makeshift Blue House briefing room set up in Manila, President Moon said if the reclusive North Korea agreed to hold talks, negotiations could be held with all options on the table.

"Even if talks do begin to resolve the North Korea nuclear issue, I feel it will be realistically difficult for North Korea to completely and quickly destroy its nuclear capabilities when their nuclear and missile arsenal are at such a developed stage."
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On his back-to-back talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang Mr. Moon admitted that the THAAD issue isn't completely resolved between the two countries.

"It would be safe to say that our two countries have largely agreed to leave the THAAD issue aside and separately normalize and further develop our bilateral relations."
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"We believe the president’s Southeast Asia trip was successful as it enabled us to lay the groundwork for a shared future with the ASEAN community and expand our diplomatic horizon."
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"From trade and security to culture and climate change, South Korean President Moon Jae-in wraps up his eight-day, three nation Southeast Asia tour with a whole lot under his belt.
But, this isn't the end only the beginning of a long process of South Korea cultivating new ties, restoring relations gone sour and readjusting its status on the global stage.
From Manila, the Philippines, Moon Connyoung, Arirang News."
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