South Korea, US pledge to raise pressure on Pyongyang

Presidents Moon Jae-in, Donald Trump speak following UN sanctions vote 

South Korea, US pledge to raise pressure on Pyongyang

World Bulletin / News Desk

President Moon Jae-in and U.S. counterpart Donald Trump vowed Monday to increase pressure on North Korea over its weapons programs, Moon’s office said.

In a 56-minute telephone conversation, the presidents agreed on the need to “put maximum pressure and sanctions on North Korea under cooperation with the international community to have North Korea give up its nuclear and missile programs,” Moon’s spokesman said.

Yonhap News Agency reported Moon later told aides in Seoul that he and Trump “again affirmed the principle that the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula must be achieved through peaceful means.”

He added that the South Korean military “has the capability to counter any type of provocation that may threaten us.” Around 28,500 U.S. troops are based in South Korea under a military alliance.

The discussion with Trump followed the UN Security Council’s adoption of new sanctions against the North on Sunday that aim to further squeeze Pyongyang’s funding for weapons development.

Last month, North Korea tested two intercontinental ballistic missiles apparently capable of reaching the U.S.

Trump said on social media that he was “very happy and impressed” with the Security Council's unanimous decision.

Moon noted the support of China and Russia for the sanctions. “I hope North Korea will understand the latest sanctions resolution is a firm determination of the international community and choose the path to dialogue,” he said, according to Yonhap.

Pyongyang has not responded positively to Seoul’s attempts at dialogue since Moon was elected in May.

North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho clarified his country's attitude Sunday during a brief encounter with Seoul's top envoy Kang Kyung-hwa.

Ri reportedly dismissed South Korea's offer of dialogue as “lacking sincerity”. Both foreign ministers are currently in Manila for an Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 07 Ağustos 2017, 10:00