South Korean President Moon Jae-in said Friday that North Korea should stop provocations to end the current vicious cycle of tension and seek fundamental solutions for peace.
On the flight back home from his four-day New York trip, he deplored that the North's continued nuclear and missile saber-rattling left the world with no choice but to enhance pressure and sanctions.
"When tensions are high like this, I do not think the international community has any other option about North Korea," he told reporters aboard Air Force One.
Moon made the remarks hours after he agreed with US President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to put maximum pressure on the North. The three-way summit was held on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
Citing his earlier meeting with the heads of key US think tanks, Moon said he and the US experts had discussed a need to come up with new and creative ways to end the North Korean nuclear standoff.
He said any new approach will also have to wait until North Korea first halts its provocations.
"Once we overcome this obstacle and North Korea stops making provocations, then we may consider many new steps," Moon said.
In his inaugural address to the UN General Assembly on Thursday, the new South Korean leader called for multilateral dialogue on ending North Korea's nuclear ambitions.
When asked whether he was suggesting the resumption of the six-nation denuclearization talks, the president said the format of dialogue did not matter, as long as they could help fundamentally resolve the North Korean nuclear issue.
He explained that he made a proposal from the fundamental perspective of the establishment of Northeast Asia's economic community and multilateral security cooperation system, which will ultimately ensure lasting peace on the peninsula and in the region. (Yonhap)