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President Moon says S. Korea ready with talk to Japan anytime Updated: 2021-03-02 07:06:07 KST

South Korea is ready to sit down for talks with Japan any time, and the Tokyo Olympics could provide a chance to reopen dialogue between the two countries, as well as North Korea and the U.S., North Korea and Japan, and the two Koreas.
That's President Moon Jae-in at a ceremony Monday marking the 102nd anniversary of the March first Independence Movement Day in Seoul.

We must not let the past hold us back. I am confident that if we put our heads together in the spirit of trying to understand each other's perspectives, we will be able to wisely resolve past issues.

His message to Japan was a key focal point given their long historical disputes, including Japan's use of forced labor and its sexual enslavement of Korean women and the strongest yet in terms of its reconciliatory tone in his four years in office.

"Maybe (the) South Korean government thinks that in order to continue the peace process on the Korean Peninsula, it should get along with the Biden government's policies which means that it will deal with all the foreign policies, including the North Korea issue with its allies and in order to initiate any process dealing with North Korea there should be restoration of the alliance and cooperation and South Korea knows that so maybe that's why it wants to recover relations with Japan."

Seeking to take a page from its 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics, Seoul is pinning high hopes on the Tokyo Olympics to revitalize diplomacy with North Korea despite uncertainty of the Games itself over the COVID-19 pandemic.

I hope North Korea will cooperate and interact with the countries in the region, beginning with its participation in the Northeast Asia Cooperation Initiative for Infectious Disease Control and Public Health that aims to protect peoples' lives and safety. This will become a driving force to create a breakthrough for mutual benefit and peace on the Korean Peninsula and in East Asia.

The annual event to commemorate the independence fighters' declaration for the country's freedom in 1919 from Japanese colonial rule was scaled down because of the pandemic.
Kim Min-ji, Arirang News.
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