South Korean leader insists North must denuclearize

President Moon Jae-in refuses to soften stance despite positive inter-Korean talks

South Korean leader insists North must denuclearize

World Bulletin / News Desk

South Korean President Moon Jae-in affirmed Wednesday he has “no plans” to ease sanctions against North Korea until Pyongyang decides to denuclearize.

Addressing around 200 journalists at his first media briefing of 2018, Moon clarified his position on the North just a day after the first formal inter-Korean talks in over two years.

As a result of Tuesday’s meeting of minister-level officials at the border, the North will send athletes and other representatives to next month’s Winter Olympics in the South, having boycotted the 1988 Summer Games in Seoul.

“Now the dialogue with North Korea has begun, but because the North Korean nuclear issue has not been resolved, South Korea will continue to keep pace with the pressure and sanctions by the international community,” Moon told reporters according to Yonhap News Agency.

The South’s president added that improving inter-Korean ties is dependent on the North being willing to abandon its controversial nuclear weapons program. Pyongyang’s sixth ever nuke test last year and a series of missile launches incurred bolstered global sanctions.

Moon also praised the United States, suggesting Tuesday’s talks may have been made possible by Washington’s pressure on North Korea.

While Pyongyang has opened up to Seoul since leader Kim Jong-un’s New Year’s Day offer to participate at PyeongChang 2018, North Korea remains openly committed to nukes and hostile to the U.S. – as demonstrated by Kim’s repeated threats to strike the American mainland.

The North has agreed to arrange military dialogue with South Korea, however, as Seoul has delayed joint drills with the U.S. until after the Winter Paralympics in March.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 10 Ocak 2018, 10:04