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U.N. chief Guterres calls for intensified efforts to engage with N. Korea

All News 11:05 November 06, 2020

SEOUL/JEJU, South Korea, Nov. 6 (Yonhap) -- U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres called Friday for intensified efforts to foster dialogue with North Korea, saying diplomatic engagement is the "only best way" to achieve the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

Guterres delivered a video speech during the opening ceremony of the Jeju Forum for Peace and Prosperity, amid a prolonged impasse in nuclear talks between Washington and Pyongyang, which has stalled inter-Korean dialogue.

"In the spirit of the 75th anniversary of the United Nations, I call on parties to intensify efforts," the U.N. chief said, pointing to an "important step" that the leaders of the two Koreas and the United States made in 2018 to build an atmosphere for dialogue through summitry and other efforts.

"Diplomatic engagement is the only best way to sustainable peace and the complete and verifiable denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula," he added.

Underscoring the need for multilateralism in addressing regional and global challenges, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, Guterres voiced hope that inter-Korean cooperation will "lead the way in building bridges and establishing enduring habits of cooperation."

"This year saw the Korean Peninsula face the pandemic, floods and typhoons," he said. "And it is crucial that the two Koreas address current and future challenges together."

The U.N chief also expressed appreciation for Seoul's efforts to share the lessons learned from its antivirus efforts and President Moon Jae-in's proposal for the Northeast Asia Initiative for Infectious Disease Control and Public Health.

"I also commend your country for sharing its lessons learned during this health crisis and proposing further regional action on infectious disease control and public health," he said.


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