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President Moon says S. Korea not considering diplomat boycott of 2022 Beijing Olympics Updated: 2021-12-14 08:16:29 KST

President Moon Jae-in says South Korea is not considering a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games nor has the country been asked to.
Moon spoke during a press conference following a summit with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison in Canberra on Monday.
This is the first time for the president to speak on the matter.

"We have not been asked by the U.S., or any other country regarding a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Olympics, and the South Korean government is not considering one either."

It comes after the U.S. first announced a diplomatic boycott soon after which allies, like Australia decided to follow suit putting South Korea in a tricky position in its balancing act between Washington and Beijing.
Moon said that while the Seoul-Washington alliance is the root of diplomacy and security South Korea needs to maintain harmonious ties with China.

"Relations with China are very important on the economic front. Another factor is that South Korea requires China's constructive efforts for peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and for North Korea's denuclearization."

As for his proposal for an end-of-war declaration, Moon said that all parties involved have expressed agreement in principle but that talks have been unable to get started due to North Korea's precondition that the U.S. scraps its hostile policies.
The Biden administration also recently imposed its first sanctions on Pyeongyang.
Moon said that the goal is not the signing of the declaration itself, but to revive momentum for talks.

Later Monday, Moon had dinner with Australian veterans of the 1950-53 Korean War.
Moon thanked the soldiers who sacrificed their youths.

"People will forever remember in their hearts the love for humankind and devotion shown to protect South Korea's freedom and peace. It will become the foundation for a lasting friendship between South Korea and Australia."

Australia was the second country after the U.S. to come to South Korea's aid sending some 17-thousand troops to fight against North Korea.
Over 300 were killed in conflict, while more than 12-hundred were wounded.
Earlier in the day, Moon paid respects at the Australian National Korean War Memorial.

"On Tuesday morning, President Moon heads to Sydney. There, he's scheduled to meet with the leader of the opposition Australian Labor Party and hold talks with Australian business people on key raw materials needed for South Korea's strategic industries.
Kim Min-ji, Arirang News. Canberra."
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