Moon says Korea will set democratic exampleSouth Korean President Moon Jae-in said on Tuesday his country will work to set an example of economic democracy for the rest of the world, saying his election, following the peaceful ouster of his predecessor, may have set such an example for political democracy.
The remarks came as he accepted the Global Citizen Award from the Atlantic Council, a U.S. think tank, becoming one of three winners of the annual award.
Moon came into office on May 10, one day after the rare presidential special election caused by the ouster of his conservative predecessor, Park Geun-hye, currently undergoing a criminal trial on various corruption charges.
“South Korea’s democracy is now moving forward to realize complete realization of people’s empowerment,” Moon said, according to a script of his acceptance speech released by the Blue House.
“Our people impeached a president who betrayed their will through the so-called candlelight revolution and through constitutional procedures.”
The award ceremony was held at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in New York. Moon arrived there Monday on a four-day visit for the UN General Assembly.
“The people of South Korea have shown to the rest of the world that all power in a democratic nation originates from the people, and to myself, who became the president through such power, that the president, too, is only one of those people,” he said. “The candlelight revolution was a massive movement, involving some 17 million people over a period of several months, but it remained a completely peaceful and cultural event with no violence from the start to finish and not a single arrest.”
Moon said the movement has clearly demonstrated that peace can change the world.
He said his country will now move toward economic democracy and peace.
“I am confident the Republic of Korea, which has rewritten the history of the world’s democracy, can also offer an answer to issues of low growth and polarization,” he said, referring to South Korea by its official name.
He also vowed to establish peace on the Korean Peninsula.
“The award I am accepting today must include the world’s support to make peace on the Korean Peninsula to ensure global peace. As I spoke of Korea’s history of democracy and economic growth today, I promise there will be a time when I will be able to tell you about the history of peace South Korea established,” he said.