President Moon Jae-in says South Korea is ready to sit down with Japan anytime for dialogue to find a solution to unsettled bilateral issues.
Speaking at an event to mark Liberation Day on Saturday, Moon said that he believes joint efforts will act as a bridge for future cooperation.
Seoul and Tokyo have been at odds following the court ruling in 2018 that ordered Japanese companies to compensate victims of forced labor during its colonial rule.
The thorny historical dispute soon expanded to trade and security issues, and despite efforts to mend ties, there hasn't been any significant progress.
"The government respects the court ruling and has been working with the Japanese government to find a solution that victims can agree upon. The door is still open. Our government is ready to sit down with the Japanese government. I believe that joint efforts from South Korea and Japan will become a bridge for future cooperation.
On North Korea,.. Moon said sincere liberation would be realized when people's lives are guaranteed on a peaceful and safely unified peninsula.
He said Seoul is pursuing peace and seeking inter-Korean cooperation so that the people of South and North Korea can live together safely.
He stressed that through cooperation in various areas, including healthcare, forestry and agriculture, the two Koreas will be able to make a path for co-prosperity and peace.
Humanitarian cooperation to protect people's lives and safety, as well as cooperation to allow separated families to meet again and visit anywhere they want is sincere inter-Korean cooperation. Inter-cooperation is the best security policy to rid dependence on nuclear or military force for both sides.
Moon said Korea's independence movement was aimed at securing the country and rebuilding the dignity of individuals.
He stressed that the government has been pursuing efforts for freedom and equality and fostering a social safety net, as the country needs to endure to guarantee the decent lives of people.
I believe that a country exists to guarantee a life worth living for the people, rather than people existing for a country. This is a generation where people have the dignity and value to pursue happiness, as stated in the constitution. That is the goal of the government.
Moon stressed that the government would leave no one behind, and together with the people will overcome the COVID-19 pandemic as well as natural disasters that are threatening everyday life.
Kim Min-ji, Arirang News.