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Moon says N. Korean denuclearization matter of survival for S. Korea

All Headlines 19:22 June 12, 2017

SEOUL, June 12 (Yonhap) -- South Korean President Moon Jae-in vowed to work with Japanese and American leaders in completely ridding North Korea of nuclear weapons on Monday, calling it a way to ensure peace in the region and also his country's survival.

"North Korea's denuclearization is needed to ensure peace in the world and Northeast Asia, but for South Korea, it is a matter of survival," Moon said in a meeting with Toshihiro Nikai, a special envoy of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Nikai, a lawmaker and secretary-general of Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party, was returning a visit by Moon's special envoy to Japan.

Seoul's presidential office Cheong Wa Dae said the Japanese envoy carried a letter from the Japanese leader, who stressed a need to keep the pressure and international sanctions on Pyongyang until the communist state completely abandoned its nuclear ambitions.

Moon agreed on the need to keep the pressure on, but also pointed to a need to bring North Korea back to the dialogue table, according to Park Soo-hyun, his spokesman.

"President Moon said because it will not end with only pressure and sanctions, we must bring North Korea back to the negotiating table before we can completely denuclearize the North," Park told a press briefing.

"While keeping up our pressure and sanctions, we also need to send a message at the same time that we will help once the North gives up nukes," Moon added, according to Park.

bdk@yna.co.kr
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