] President Moon Jae-in on Sept. 18 called for coordinated efforts by the international community to peacefully resolve the North Korean nuclear issue, while reassuring overseas Koreans of the integrity of the alliance with the US.
In his meeting with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Moon stressed the need for a coordinated international response and highlighted the need to implement UN sanctions against the communist state to bring Pyongyang back to dialogue.
|President Moon Jae-in (left) gives stuffed mascots for the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics as gifts to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres at their meeting in New York on Sept. 18.|
At the meeting with Guterres, Moon requested the support of the UN in seeking “fundamental and comprehensive” resolution to the North Korean nuclear issue.
In a meeting with US-based South Koreans, Moon said that South Korea-US alliance remains as strong as ever, despite differences on various issues, such as how to adjust the two countries’ free trade agreement to make it more balanced.
“Many of you expressed concerns over the Korea-US alliance, but there is no need to worry. It is (strong) like iron and stone,” the president said while meeting with 200 South Korean residents and expatriates in New York, where he arrived Monday for the UN General Assembly, which was set to begin on Sept. 19.
Moon said it is not possible for South Korea and the US to have completely identical positions on various issues. He also said that any differences are natural and would only make the alliance between the two countries even stronger.
“Such differences may also help make the Korea-US relationship healthier. You need not worry, because the Korea-US alliance remains strong, and we are further developing the relationship from a one-sided partnership to a more equal one where we will do our share of the work,” he added, according to pool reports released early on Sept. 19.
Moon and Trump have shown differences in their approaches to issues, especially when it comes to whether to engage with North Korea.
The South Korean leader has repeatedly stressed the need to resume talks -- at least at the level of inter-Korean dialogue -- with the communist state to help ease tension on the Korean Peninsula. Trump has opposed any kind of dialogue with the reclusive state until Pyongyang shows signs of denuclearization.
In their latest telephone conversation, which followed the North’s sixth and apparently most powerful nuclear test on Sept. 3, the two leaders appeared to be on the same page, calling for thorough implementation of UN Security Council sanctions against the North so the communist state will have no other option but to turn to dialogue.
“In the past, we let the US make all the decisions and we only followed. Now, we are working together to have UNSC resolutions passed,” Moon said at meeting on Sept. 18.
Moon and Trump are scheduled to meet here on Sept. 21 for three-way talks with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. They are also expected to hold a bilateral summit to discuss ways to rein in North Korea’s evolving nuclear and missile technologies.
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