Dec. 10 (UPI) -- South Korean President Moon Jae-in said Korea should take ownership of the issues on the Korean Peninsula, before an audience of South Korean ambassadors at postings in Russia, the United States and China.
Speaking at the presidential Blue House, Moon told the diplomats Seoul will act in coordination with the international community, but Korea remains at the core of peninsula policy, JoongAng Daily reported Monday.
"We should walk with the world, but [Korea] should not lose the center," the South Korean leader said, adding the third inter-Korea summit in Pyongyang was realized through independent efforts.
The Pyongyang summit was "not a change that took place because we were forced by the power of others," Moon said. "This is an outcome we made ourselves."
Moon stayed away from making any remarks regarding the much-speculated fourth summit in Seoul. Local reports have said the meeting could take place before the end of the year.
The president did say 2019 would be a "very auspicious year" for South Korea -- when the country observes the 100th anniversary of the March First movement and the "founding of the Korean provisional government."
The March First movement was a mass uprising that took place on the Korean Peninsula on March 1, 1919, in response to Japanese colonial rule. More than 7,500 people were killed during protests, according to South Korean scholar Park Eun-shik.
"We must be proud our diplomacy is rooted in the spirit of independence," Moon said.
Moon's remarks on Korean policy come at a time when Seoul is expanding the budget for inter-Korea cooperation.
Seoul Pyongyang News reported Monday the unification ministry wants to increase the 2019 budget to over $1 billion, the largest figure in three years.
About half the budget will be allocated to solving humanitarian problems, $480 million to inter-Korea economic cooperation and about $18 million to social and cultural exchange, according to the report.