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Speeches and Contributions

Congratulatory Speech at the 2019 PyeongChang Global Peace Forum


Congratulatory Speech at the 2019 PyeongChang Global Peace Forum

-World Peace Starting in Pyeongchang-
13:30 on February 9, 2019 at the Alpensia Convention Center Congratulatory Speech

By Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon

Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,
Good afternoon.
It is good to see you all. I am Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon.
I would like to sincerely congratulate you on holding the 2019 PyeongChang Global Peace Forum. When I heard about the forum, it was obvious to me that I needed to come to express my congratulations. I would also like to extend my gratitude to all those involved in organizing this meaningful event and for inviting me.

So many distinguished guests from around the world are joining us today. I would like to extend my warm welcome and appreciation to you for striving to build peace with the power of the people.

I would like to extend my deep gratitude to the citizens of Pyeongchang and the people of Gangwon Province for doing so much to make the PyeongChang Olympics a success and bringing peace to the Korean Peninsula.

Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,
I visited Pyeongchang several times last year. I came here today feeling equally at ease and warm of heart just as whenever I visit my own hometown.

Last winter in Pyeongchang was bitter. Amid the extreme cold, we were able to successfully host the Olympics and sprout the seed of peace thanks to the hard work and passion of so many people.

Once again, I would like to thank all of those who strived for the success of the PyeongChang Olympics, as well as the volunteers, the athletic delegations from around the world, and the North Korean athletic delegation.

We still have vivid impressions from the Olympics, even though an entire year has already passed. So much has happened in inter-Korean relations over the past year that we have lost all sense of time.

The crisis of war went away; inter-Korean relations were restored; and negotiations on denuclearization resumed. Three inter-Korean summits and the first North Korea-US summit were held. It was remarkable even compared to 10 years ago when the two Koreas maintained active inter-Korean relations.

All of this began with the PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games. Thus, I always talk about Pyeongchang whenever I discuss inter-Korean relations wherever I go and with whomever I meet.

I believe that the PyeongChang Olympics embodied the spirit of “peace through sports” most gloriously and concretely.

Now that we mark the first anniversary of the PyeongChang Winter Olympics, the second North Korea-US summit is being arranged.

The leaders of North Korea and the US established the principles of denuclearization and peace on the Korean Peninsula at the summit in Singapore last year. I expect that the second North Korea-US summit to be held in Vietnam will impart momentum toward achieving substantial objectives.
The ROK government will closely communicate and cooperate with both Pyeongyang and Washington for the success of the second North Korea-US summit.

At the same time, it will continue to develop inter-Korean relations sustainably and move forward toward a future in which the two Koreas prosper based on peace.

Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,
I think that the more we share peace, the greater the peace becomes. I believe that the lives of all of you here testify to that.

The Republic of Korea will further strengthen the peace that began in Pyeongchang;
put an end to the last Cold War; and move toward greater peace along with our friends in the world.

I hope that this forum serves as an opportunity for people to engage in practical dialogue and to come together as one.

I also expect that the forum will continue to develop as a venue for discussing international peace so that the achievements of Pyeongchang will be carried on and built upon.

Once again, I congratulate you on holding the forum, and I wish everyone the best of health and happiness.

Thank you.