South Korea's President: "My goal is to resolve the North Korean nuclear issue"

Moon Jae-in gives exclusive interview to appear in South Korea Special of the global affairs and lifestyle magazine MONOCLE


South Korea’s president, Moon Jae-in, has told MONOCLE that his country’s relations with the US are “rock-solid” and “as strong and robust as ever”.

“President Trump said that I could notify him at any time if help was needed in the process of carrying out inter- Korean dialogue and that he supported me 100 per cent,” Moon told the magazine.

Moon was caught in the verbal crossfire between the US president and North Korea’s leader only ten months into his five-year tenure, when Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un tested each other’s resolve, pushing the peninsula towards nuclear war. He told MONOCLE: “My goal is to resolve the North Korean nuclear issue and solidify peace."

Moon was swept to power last year after a wave of public protests led to the ousting of his predecessor, Park Geun-hye, who is now standing trial on corruption charges.

MONOCLE gained unprecedented access to the CheongWa Dae, also known as the Blue House, for its wide-ranging interview, which also touched on personal matters: “ The first thing I do when I wake up is give some food to my cat Jjing-jjing and then we watch the news together."

Moon, who worked himself into ill health in the past, said: “The era when the key to success is working non-stop is over. Since my inauguration I have taken annual leave and encouraged my secretaries and cabinet ministers to follow suit. I will continue to do this.”


MONOCLE also interviewed Kim Jung-sook, the First lady, who has found popularity through her support of the disadvantaged and the changing role of women.

“I felt [Moon Jae-in's] honesty and upright character was not a good fit for success in  politics,"  she said. "But I tried to put my personal interests to one side because so many people, were suffering and our democracy was going backwards.”

Both interviews appear alongside an in-depth survey of South Korea, in the March issue of MONOCLE, which is out now.

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