Speaker visits China
National Assembly Speaker Chung Ui-hwa paid an official visit to China, and met with Chinese President Xi Jinping at Great Hall of the People in Beijing on December 18.
In their talks, Speaker Chung remarked that thanks to the consistent efforts made by Korean President Park Geun-hye and Chinese President Xi, the two countries’ relationship have matured into a strategic cooperative partnership. “At a time when we celebrate the 70th anniversary of the end of the Second World War next year, I hope that our partnership will further develop into a solidary friendship,” he said. “We can solidify our mutual trust and ties by invigorating exchanges among our parliaments, political parties, and central and local governments.”
Stressing that 2015 also marks the 70th anniversary of Korea’s independence from the Japanese colonial rule, Speaker Chung said that he and Zhang Dejiang, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, promised to adopt a joint resolution for peace in Northeast Asia and unification of the Korean Peninsula in commemoration of the occasion.
Speaker Chung went on to say that in order to relieve the tension between North and South Korea, the National Assembly intends to arrange interparliamentary talks with North Korea. “For this, we want to meet with the chairman of the presidium of the North’s Supreme People’s Assembly, Kim Yong-nam, and we think President Xi’s interest and support is required here,” he added.
President Xi remarked that China and Korea share the same history of a foreign invasion, and have the same stance on the history. “We shall not forget our past, but also shall look to the future,” he said. “We should make efforts to prevent a recurrence of the past troubles and to bring peace permanently. China is on the same side with Korea as we seek nuclear disarmament on the Korean Puninsula, and peace and security in Northeast Asia. To address these issues through conversation and compromise, the six-party talks need to be resumed,” said the president.
President Xi also stated that he supports expansion of inter-Korean cooperation for the purpose of self-reliant and peaceful unification on the Korean Peninsula, and China will remain committed to building a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula and peaceful Northeast Asia.
Speaker Chung then requested his counterpart the completion of working-level negotiation over the Korea-China Free Trade Agreement by the end of this year, and humanitarian treatment of North Korean defectors in China.
On December 20, Speaker Chung visited the building of the Korean provisional government in the city of Chongqing.
Speaker Chung walked around the building to meditate the aspiration and spirit of the independence activists, and held an impromptu session with accompanying Assembly Members. During the session, he thanked Sun Zhengcai, secretary of the Chongqing Municipal Committee of the Communist Party, for preserving the building and deciding to restore the general headquarters building of the Korean Restoration Army to its original form.
The provisional government building was the last base of the Koreans fighting for the national independence who established the interim government in Shanghai, and had to flee from the Japanese military after Yun Bong-gil’s bombing of Japanese leaders' gathering in 1932.