Ex-UN chief urges inter-Korean summit to focus on denuclearization


SEOUL :Former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Friday that South Korean President Moon Jae-in should be firm and clear in demanding North Korea’s denuclearization when he meets the communist neighbor’s leader Kim Jong-un in late April. Ban emphasized the significance of what would be the third inter-Korean summit slated for April 27. The two previous ones were held in Pyongyang in 2000 and 2007. This time, Moon and Kim agreed to sit down together at the border village of Panmunjom. The two sides have not announced detailed agenda items yet. Ban, who served as Seoul’s top diplomat before assuming the top UN post, expressed concern that the liberal Moon may take a “soft” approach on the nuclear issue in consideration of “delicate” ties between the two Koreas still in a state of an armistice. “The South-North summit should fare well,” he said, addressing a forum hosted by the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps in Seoul. “Unless (we) are clear and strong in our position on denuclearization, the ball will cross into the United States. We will lose the initiative.” He pointed out that the North Korean nuclear issue is “basically a matter” of South Korea, not just between Pyongyang and Washington. In diplomacy, Ban added, those with unswerving principles win eventually.

Orignally published by APP

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