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South Korean President Hopes Gandhi's Thinking Can Lead to Peace And Prosperity in Asia and Beyond

Moon made the remarks while welcoming Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a ceremony to unveil a bust of Mahatma Gandhi which will be put on permanent display at the prestigious Yonsei University here.

PTI

Updated:February 21, 2019, 6:54 PM IST
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South Korean President Hopes Gandhi's Thinking Can Lead to Peace And Prosperity in Asia and Beyond
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and South Korean President Moon Jae-in attend an unveiling ceremony for a statue of Mahatma Gandhi at Yonsei university in Seoul, South Korea, Thursday. (AP Photo)
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Seoul: South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Thursday voiced hope that the great spirit of Mahatma Gandhi can usher in peace and prosperity in Asia and beyond, as US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un are set to meet next week in Vietnam to discuss the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula.

Moon made the remarks while welcoming Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a ceremony to unveil a bust of Mahatma Gandhi which will be put on permanent display at the prestigious Yonsei University here.

President Moon praised Gandhi, saying his greatness lies in the fact that he walked the path of peace despite the violence or threats against him or his people.

Noting that his country has also experienced colonial rule, the South Korean president insisted the countries must work together to help establish peace and ensure joint prosperity in the region.

"I sincerely hope that the great spirit of Mahatma Gandhi can be realised into peace and prosperity in Asia, going beyond the Korean Peninsula," South Korea's Yonhap News Agency quoted Moon as saying.

"This year is also a meaningful year to South Korea," Moon told the ceremony, noting the year marks the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the country's provisional government under Japan's colonial

rule that lasted 36 years from 1910-45.

"Gandhi's teachings that said 'Be the change you wish to see,' and 'There is no way to peace, there is only peace,' specially touch my heart. With the unveiling of his statue today, Gandhi's spirits will forever be in the heart of South Koreans," he added.

Moon on Wednesday thanked India for supporting South Korea's efforts to denuclearise North Korea and establish peace on the Korean Peninsula.

"If permanent peace is established on the Peninsula, this will greatly contribute to peace and prosperity all throughout Asia. I am looking forward to India's unwavering support as it has played a significant role in the global peace movement," he was quoted as saying by Yonhap.

President Trump announced during his State of the Union address on February 5 that his second summit with Kim would take place February 27 and 28 in Hanoi, Vietnam. Singapore hosted the first Trump-Kim summit in June last year when they pledged to work towards the complete denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula.

In Singapore, Trump and Kim signed a vague agreement that committed the two countries to continue working toward denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula — but with no explicit obligation by Pyongyang to actually disarm.

North Korea has since claimed it destroyed missile engine and nuclear test sites, but it has not let the international inspectors verify that.

Prime Minister Modi arrived here earlier in the day on a two-day state visit. He will hold bilateral talks with South Korean President Moon on Friday. The two leaders are expected to discuss the issue of denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula, ahead of the Trump-Kim summit.

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