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South Korea's Moon Jae-in calls on AIIB to work for peace

By Elizabeth Shim
South Korea's Moon Jae-in calls on AIIB to work for peace
South Korean President Moon Jae-in speaking at the second annual AIIB board of governors meeting in Jeju Island, South Korea on Friday. Photo by Yonhap/EPA

June 16 (UPI) -- South Korean President Moon Jae-in urged member states of the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank to look to the day when "peace on the Korean peninsula will contribute to the stability and integration of Asia," and a railroad reconnecting North and South completes a "land and maritime silk road."

Speaking at the second annual AIIB board of governors meeting in Jeju Island, South Korea, Moon spoke favorably of the financial institution that seeks to invest in Asia's infrastructure, which he described as the "driving force of high growth" on a continent that accounts for 60 percent of the world's population.

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But Moon also pointed out the "development of democracy and political stability in Asian countries is becoming an important factor in world peace and security."

China, the largest shareholder in AIIB, is not an electoral democracy, and its leaders have said it would never adopt a Western-style democracy with a multi-party system.

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Seoul and Beijing also continue to be in disagreement over the deployment of the U.S. missile defense system THAAD, currently operational at a former golf course in central South Korea.

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Moon's statement on prospective connectivity with North Korea comes at a time when Pyongyang is brushing off the recently elected South Korean leader's conciliatory approach to relations.

North Korea's Pyongyang's Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea said this week Seoul has not taken action to "resolve the sharp military tensions on the Korean peninsula."

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"From Day 1 the new authorities in South Korea has already taken on incorrect behavior" and damaging inter-Korea relations, the North Korean committee claimed.

North Korea's nuclear test site remains on standby, and Pyongyang has said a forbidden test of an intercontinental ballistic missile, capable of reaching the United States, could happen in the near future.

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