Moon: North Korea Seeks ‘Complete Denuclearization’

Photo from Ukrinform


North Korea has expressed its commitment to “complete denuclearization” and is not seeking conditions, South Korean President, Moon Jae-in, said on Thursday, April 19.

“I don’t think denuclearization has different meanings for South and North Korea. The North is expressing a will for complete denuclearization. They have not attached any conditions that the U.S. cannot accept, such as the withdrawal of American troops from South Korea. All they are talking about is the end of hostile policies against North Korea, followed by a guarantee of security,” Moon said during a lunch with chief executives of Korean media companies.

North Korea has defended its nuclear and missile programs, which it pursues in defiance of the U.N. Security Council resolutions. It has claimed that its nuclear program is a necessary deterrent against perceived American hostility.

North Korea has said over the years that it could consider giving up its nuclear program if the United States removed its troops from South Korea and withdrew its “nuclear umbrella” from South Korea and Japan.

South Korea announced on Wednesday that it is considering replacing its armistice with North Korea with a peace agreement. North and South Korea are technically still at war because the 1950 to 1953 conflict ended in a truce, not a peace treaty. Moon said that a peace treaty is possible if the North denuclearizes.

North and South Korea are set to meet in an inter-Korean summit on April 27. It will be the first summit between the two countries in 11 years. The focus of the summit is the denuclearization of the Koean peninsula. However, Moon admits that South Korea cannot reach any agreements with the North, separately from the United States.

The U.S. announced its plans for a summit with North Korea in either May or June. The American government vows to maintain “maximum pressure” on Pyongyang.

China’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Hua Chunying, said at a press briefing in Beijing that China supported ending the state of war on the Korean peninsula.