August 06, 2019 11:15
President Moon Jae-in on Monday proposed stepping up economic cooperation with North Korea to generate a counterweight to Japan's economic might and become more independent of the regional giant.
"If the South and the North can create a peace economy through economic cooperation, we will immediately be able to surpass Japan's [economic] superiority," Moon claimed in a Cabinet meeting.
"Japan will not be able to prevent our economy from leaping forward," he added. Instead, Japan's latest export curbs "will stimulate our will to grow into an economic powerhouse."
Moon said Korea was able to "once again confirm the need for a peace economy" after Tokyo removed Korea from a "whitelist" of preferential trade partners.
"The Japanese economy stands above ours because of its size and domestic market," he said. "We need to have a firm belief that a peace economy is our unique future that no other country in the world has, and strive together to achieve this goal with North Korea. Only then will we be able to achieve joint prosperity based on denuclearization and peace."
Moon made no mention of North Korea's latest missile tests and did not explain what South Korea is to do about the Japanese export curbs while international sanctions against North Korea forbid all cross-border cooperation.
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