NEW YORK -- South Korean President Moon Jae-in emphasized the need to put additional pressure on North Korea Wednesday, partly to punish the communist state for its recent provocations but also to make it realize its only option is to denuclearize.
The renewed call for what Moon called "maximum sanctions and pressure" against Pyongyang came in a meeting with the heads of leading US think tanks on Korean and foreign relations issues, such as Richard Haass, a former US diplomat and currently the head of the Council on Foreign Relations, a nonprofit think tank. Others included Kevin Rudd, former prime minister of Australia currently serving as the president of the Asia Society Policy Institute, and Thomas Byrne, president of the Korea Society.
Wednesday's meeting came as the South Korean leader was seeking to rally international support for maximum sanctions and pressure against Pyongyang, which he says will make the communist regime realize that its pursuit of nuclear weapons will only lead to its collapse.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in (second from L) speaks in a meeting with the heads of key US think tanks held on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York on Sept. 20, 2017. (Yonhap)
North Korea staged its sixth and apparently most powerful nuclear test on Sept. 3, defying a series of UN Security Council resolutions that prohibit it from any nuclear or missile activities. The communist state also fired an intermediate range ballistic missile on Friday, its 16th missile provocation this year, and 10th since the Moon Jae-in administration took office in May.
"Noting the unprecedentedly swift adoption of a new and powerful resolution by the UNSC last week marked the international community's clear and firm stance toward the North Korean nuclear issue, President Moon said his government was working together with the international community to bring North Korea to the path of dialogue on denuclearization through highest level of sanctions and pressure," the presidential office, Cheong Wa Dae, said of the meeting on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.
The South Korean leader arrived here Monday on a four-day visit that will end Thursday.
"The president said the government will work to resolve the North Korean nuclear issue peacefully, fundamentally and comprehensively through such sanctions and pressure," Cheong Wa Dae said in a press release.
Moon also highlighted the importance of strengthening the Korea-US alliance to deter any future provocations, saying his country will work to further expand and develop the alliance in all areas, including the political, economic, social and cultural sectors. (Yonhap)