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KEI Spotlight

South Korean leader's Liberation Day speech offered hopeful vision

September 19, 2019

Writing for the Nikkei, KEI Vice President Mark Tokola highlighted how President Moon Jae-in defied expectations in his speech commemorating Korea's liberation from Japan in 1945 by offering a vision of a more integrated East Asia in which Japan and North Korea both play key roles. This is meaningful given the rising tensions between South Korea and Japan. 

Tokola observed how Moon's description of a future for East Asia focused on coexistence in a free market, "not led by a single state but instead a community where diverse cooperation blossoms among countries on an equal footing." In fact, in the current frayed global context, Moon's speech stands out a rare example of a political leader reaffirming the merits of economic integration. 

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