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(LEAD) U.N. chief reaffirms support for Korean peace process

Diplomacy 15:30 November 29, 2018

(ATTN: UPDATES with schedules in Panama, Mexico in last 7 paras)

SEOUL, Nov. 29 (Yonhap) -- The head of the United Nations told South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha that his organization will continue to support the denuclearization of the peninsula and the establishment of a peace regime, Kang's ministry said Thursday.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres met with Kang in New York on Wednesday (local time), as the minister made a stopover there on her way to Panama.

Kang briefed him on the security situation in Korea and requested the U.N.'s constant cooperation in efforts to achieve the complete denuclearization of North Korea and lasting peace.

The U.N. leader reaffirmed support for Seoul's related initiative and asked it to keep playing a role in resolving other pending global issues, such as climate change, terrorism and refugees, the ministry said.

South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha meets with U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in New York on Nov. 28, 2018, in this photo provided by Kang's ministry. (Yonhap)

Kang also had separate talks with Deputy Secretary-General of the U.N. Amina Mohamed for discussions on U.N. reform measures, sustainable development goals and other issues.

The ministry said Kang's meetings with the top U.N. officials served as a chance to strengthen partnerships between the two sides.

Kang is scheduled to arrive in Panama on Thursday (local time) for meetings with President Juan Carlos Varela and Isabel Saint Malo, vice president and minister of foreign affairs.

In the talks with Malo, Kang will have discussions on ways to bolster "substantive cooperation," according to the ministry's spokesman Noh Kyu-duk.

Panama is a country involved in the South Korea-Central America free trade agreement and a key regional player in shipping, finance and logistics, he noted.

Kang will head to Mexico on Friday to attend the presidential inauguration ceremony of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador slated for the next day.

She plans to meet separately with the new Mexican leader and deliver President Moon Jae-in's personal letter to him.

Kang will also hold talks with her new counterpart, Marcelo Ebrard.

It's expected to help "cement trust and cooperation base between the two nations and expand our diplomatic ground in Latin America," Noh said.


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