(Photo: Yonhap News)
President Moon Jae-in says South Korea will not cease its push for stronger cooperation with Japan, calling for the neighboring countries to overcome the "obstacle" of failing to separate their historical disputes with efforts for future-oriented ties.
Moon made the comments Monday during a ceremony to mark March 1 Independence Movement Day, which commemorates the public uprising in Korea against Japan's colonial rule in 1919.
"Our government is ready to sit down with the Japanese government anytime and have dialogue," he said.
The president said he is confident Seoul and Tokyo can resolve pending issues "wisely" if they share ideas with the position of "putting themselves in each other's shoes."
Moon said bilateral cooperation would benefit both sides and create stabilization and coprosperity in Northeast Asia, adding that it would "be helpful to trilateral cooperation among South Korea, the U.S. and Japan."
In his speech, Moon also vowed continued efforts for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and lasting peace.
This year's Independence Movement Day ceremony was held at Tapgol Park -- the first modern park built in Seoul and the birthplace of the historic movement, where the Korean Declaration of Independence was read out loud.
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