Vietnam can be North Korea’s model for int’l integration: former ambassador

By Trong Giap   May 13, 2018 | 02:00 am PT
Vietnam can be North Korea’s model for int’l integration: former ambassador
A man works at a construction site in Hanoi, Vietnam. Photo by Reuters/Kham
With 30 years of experience in economic reforms, Vietnam is willing to help N Korea reconnect with the world.

Vietnam can help North Korea to integrate with the rest of the world thanks to its experience in transforming a hostile relationship with the U.S. into a comprehensive cooperation between the two countries, a forum heard on Thursday in Hanoi.

Vietnam can share its 30 years of renovation experience (doi moi), said Pham Tien Van, former Vietnamese ambassador to South Korea and North Korea at the Korea-Mekong Peace Forum. Doi moi is a reform process that has allowed Vietnam to achieve great economic developments since 1986.

Vietnam supports North Korea’s denuclearization process and reunion with South Korea through negotiations, Van added.

North Korea used to prioritize military, defense and protectionism of the regime, but when the economy is on top of the list, Pyongyang has to deal with the nuclear issue to pave the way for international integration and development, Van said.

In the future, North Korea must follow the path of reform and development, said Kim Jung-in, chair of the East-West Asia Council under the Council for Democratic Peace Consensus.

"There have been ideas that North Korea will then follow the socialist market economy model, which is referred to as doi moi in Vietnam," Kim Jung-in said. He expressed hope that the council and the Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences will have the opportunity to invite North Korean experts to hold a peace forum in Hanoi.

The recent summit between North and South Korea and the upcoming meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korea Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un will “loosen the knot” and relieve the tensions that have ruled the region in the last 73 years, according to Lee Jong-seok, former South Korean Minister of Unification.

Having been to previous summits between North and South Korea, Lee said that on this time occasion North Korea has demonstrated a more positive, peaceful and non-confrontational attitude. Kim Jong Un has made a clear decision and stated that Panmunjom, the truce village where the two leaders of North and South Korea met, is expected to have positive impacts.

"The most important thing is the nuclear issue. If the problem is not solved, peace will be very difficult to achieve," Lee said.

On April 27, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in held a historic summit in Panmunjom. A joint statement from the two leaders stressed that North Korea and South Korea would sign a peace treaty soon to end the war. Kim Jong Un also pledged toward the goal of denuclearizing of the peninsula.

Trump is also expected to meet the North Korean leader for the first time in Singapore on June 12 to discuss the denuclearization of the peninsula.

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