Moon Jae-in calls for reciprocal measures on North Korea denuclearization - Kogonuso

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Sep 27, 2018

Moon Jae-in calls for reciprocal measures on North Korea denuclearization

South Korean President Moon Jae-in endorsed the corresponding-measures approach to North Korea denuclearization on Wednesday in his speech to the United Nations General Assembly.

Moon, who recently met with Kim Jong Un in Pyongyang and briefed U.S. President Donald Trump on the details of the summit on Monday, said the North Korean leader expressed a "firm willingness" to take denuclearization steps.

Kim "expressed his firm willingness to undertake denuclearization measures, including the permanent dismantlement of Yongbyon, as the United States takes corresponding measures in the spirit of the Sentosa agreement," Moon said before the gathering of world leaders.

Moon also described denuclearization as a "process" that will lead to "building peace and cooperation in Northeast Asia."

Analysts have expressed concern reciprocating Pyongyang's offer to dismantle the Yongbyon nuclear research center could mean costly concessions from Washington and Seoul, leading to further reduction in joint military exercises and other restrictions that could come with the signing of an end-of-war declaration between North Korea and the United States.

But on Wednesday, Moon, who described inter-Korea engagement as "something miraculous," said a "new era" had dawned on the Korean Peninsula.

"Chairman Kim expressed his hope of complete denuclearization as soon as possible to focus on economic development," Moon said. "We removed the shadow of war and resolved to usher in an era of peace and prosperity."

Moon also credited Trump and the North Korean leader for meeting at the June summit and building trust.

"At the U.S.-North Korea summit, the two sides agreed to work toward achieving complete denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula, ending hostile relations and establishing a permanent peace regime," the South Korean leader said. "President Trump and Chairman Kim moved and gave hope to those who desire peace all around the world."

Moon also urged the international community to "assure Chairman Kim he made the right choice toward denuclearization and a permanent and solid peace."

Moon, who has been criticized at home by activists for not doing more on the issue of Korean "comfort women" forced to serve in Japanese wartime brothels, addressed the issue before the U.N. as a human rights concern.

"Korea has a direct experience of suffering from the Japanese military's mobilizations of comfort women," Moon said, while addressing the contemporary issue of gender inequality.

The statement may have irritated Japanese delegates -- Prime Minister Shinzo Abe asked Moon on Tuesday to honor the 2015 agreement on compensation for victims.

A small group of North Korean delegates, including newly appointed Ambassador Kim Song, listened intently to Moon's speech at the General Assembly and later clapped when Moon concluded his remarks.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is to travel to North Korea, according to the State Department. He met with North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho on the sidelines of the General Assembly on Wednesday.
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