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(LEAD) G-7 calls for 'complete' denuclearization of Korean Peninsula, welcomes Washington's readiness towards Pyongyang diplomacy

North Korea 00:00 June 14, 2021

(ATTN: RECASTS headline, lead; UPDATES with more details throughout; ADDS photo)

WASHINGTON, June 13 (Yonhap) -- The Group of Seven (G-7) nations on Sunday issued a joint statement calling for the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, while welcoming Washington's commitment under President Joe Biden to engage with Pyongyang through diplomacy.

In a joint communique adopted at this year's G-7 summit in the southwestern British county of Cornwall, the countries called for the complete denuclearization of the peninsula and demanded for the "verifiable and irreversible" abandonment of Pyongyang's weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programs.

The G-7 nations also announced that they "welcome the readiness" of Washington "to continue its diplomatic efforts in coordination with all relevant partners" towards Pyongyang.

The countries also called on North Korea to "engage and resume dialogue" with the international community, while demanding Pyongyang to "respect human rights for all" and "resolve the issue of abductions immediately."

This photo, provided by the British Prime Minister's Office, shows South Korean President Moon Jae-in (2nd from R in the first row) posing with leaders attending in the Group of Seven (G-7) summit in Carbis Bay, Cornwall, Britain, on June 12, 2021. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

This year's summit was attended by the leaders of the G-7 member states: the United States, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and Britain, as well as representatives from the European Union.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in, along with leaders of leaders of Australia, India and South Africa were invited as guests.

The statement on North Korea follows the summit between Moon and Biden last month, in which the U.S. president stressed Washington's willingness to engage diplomatically with Pyongyang and take pragmatic steps toward the goal of denuclearization.

Washington has also made it clear that it would build on past agreements with the North, including the 2018 Singapore summit accord forged between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and former U.S. President Donald Trump.

On Saturday, South Korean Foreign Minister Chung Eui-yong and his U.S. counterpart, Antony Blinken, held talks on the margins of the G-7 summit and reaffirmed the goal of the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and agreed to deepen cooperation on vaccine distribution and Myanmar, according to Seoul's foreign ministry.

The G-7 nations also pressed hard on China in its communique, stressing the importance of "peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait," while encouraging "the peace resolution of cross-Strait issues."

The countries also called on Beijing to "respect human rights and fundamental freedoms," particularly in relation to the unresolved human rights controversies in China's Xinjiang and Hong Kong.

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