SEOUL, Nov. 8 (Xinhua) -- South Korean President Moon Jae-in has said that his country will make efforts to maintain the value of free trade against trade protectionism and has spoken highly of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).
"Especially, the final agreement on RCEP will play a big role in restoring and spreading free trade. (South) Korea will also make its utmost efforts for the formal signing of RCEP without fail next year," Moon said in a response to a question put forward by Vice President of Xinhua News Agency Liu Siyang about efforts needed to cope with trade protectionism.
Moon made the comments during a meeting in the presidential office with the representatives of the member agencies participating in the 17th General Assembly of the Organization of Asia-Pacific News Agencies (OANA), including Xinhua News Agency, TASS News Agency, Vietnam News Agency, Thai News Agency, Kyodo News Agency, etc.
Moon said as the largest mega free trade agreement, the RCEP deal has a "very significant meaning" for the expanded regional free trade and co-prosperity and it will be a "very important stepping stone" to going toward a reciprocal, open trade system and an economic community.
The 2019 ASEAN (the Association of Southeast Asian Nations)-ROK Commemorative Summit and Mekong-ROK Summit to be held in Busan of South Korea later this month will offer an opportunity to further enhance relations between South Korea, ASEAN and Mekong countries and will also contribute to peace and prosperity in the Asia Pacific, Moon said.
"Peace on the Korean Peninsula is a starting point to create a peace community of coexistence and prosperity," said Moon. He noted since Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, the world has witnessed "historical scenes" taking place in the Korean Peninsula peace process through coverage of the wire services.
"There are still many hurdles left to overcome, but (peace) is the way (we) must go for peace in the Korean Peninsula, East Asia and the entire world," Moon said.
Moon said the general assembly will center on the theme "New challenges for journalism: technological innovations and issues of trust," which is a common concern faced by global media. He also wished the general assembly a success and the OANA greater development in the future.