Ban calls on N. Korea to return to cooperation

Seogwipo, South Korea— Ban Ki-moon urged North Korea on Thursday to cease all provocations and comply with its international obligations.
The United Nations secretary-general also said the international community should “hold on a firm line” on North Korea and that he hoped U.N. sanctions could persuade Pyongyang to denuclearize.
Speaking at a global forum held annually on South Korea’s Jeju Island, Ban encouraged South Korea and regional allies to pursue talks with North Korea, despite Pyongyang’s refusal to give up nuclear proliferation.
“Rising tensions on the Korean peninsula could cast a shadow across Northeast Asia and beyond,” Ban said, according to Yonhap.
“I welcome efforts to move forward, and I stand ready as the secretary-general of the United Nations and also personally to contribute in any way that might be helpful.”
North Korea, however, has not been willing to ease tensions in the past by following through with invitations to foreign dignitaries.
Ban was planning a visit to North Korea about a year ago when Pyongyang backtracked on its decision to allow the visit.—Agencies

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