President Moon Jae-in said he would not participate in the US-led diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics, given that South Korea needs China’s support to “enable denuclearization” of the Korean Peninsula. ..
“We have not received any requests to join the diplomatic boycott from other countries, including the United States. Moon told reporters after a summit meeting with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Monday.
The diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics was first led by the United States in protest of the Chinese administration’s “ongoing slaughter and crimes against humanity in the New River,” followed by Australia, the United Kingdom, Canada, Lithuania and New Zealand.
Zhao Lijian, a spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, said China would take “resolute countermeasures” against the United States regarding the boycott’s efforts, but did not specify any further countermeasures.
Mr Moon said South Korea attaches great importance to its alliance with the United States from a diplomatic and security perspective, but his government must also consider the “peace and security” of the Korean Peninsula.
“China’s constructive efforts are needed to enable the denuclearization of North Korea. [Democratic People’s Republic of Korea].. Therefore, South Korea is focusing on a strong alliance with the United States and China. “
Moon further revealed South Korea’s interest in achieving a free and open Indo-Pacific region through a “harmonious relationship” with China.
“There may be specific conflicts and competition issues. But from a climate change and supply chain issue, as well as pandemics and infectious diseases, there are global challenges, and these are us. Is an area where we need to cooperate and cooperate, “he said.
When asked about the peace process on the Korean Peninsula, Moon expressed support “in principle” for officials (US, China, North Korea) for the declaration of the end of the war, but South Korea has not yet entered into negotiations. Said. North Korea.
“North Korea says they need to see and withdraw after the US hostile policy that this is a prerequisite set by North Korea. Therefore, between North and South Korea, between North Korea and the United States. I can’t sit down to talk about the declaration. “
When the Moon visited Australia, the two countries signed a defense pact of A $ 1 billion ($ 716.5 million) to support Seoul’s efforts to expand its military efforts.
Under the terms of the contract, South Korean defense company Hanwha will manufacture 30 self-propelled howitzers and 15 armored ammunition supply vehicles for Australia.
Reuters contributed to this report.