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President Moon requests UN role in building peace with North Korea

South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Tuesday requested the UN's role in verifying North Korea's commitment to denuclearization and peace on the peninsula, his office announced Tuesday.

He delivered the message to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in their 30-minute phone conversation, according to Cheong Wa Dae spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom.

The president was referring to Pyongyang's promise to close down its main nuclear testing site in Kilju, North Hamgyeong Province, where the secretive nation detonated six nuclear bombs.

President Moon Jae-in (left) and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres (Cheong Wa Dae, Yonhap file photo)
President Moon Jae-in (left) and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres (Cheong Wa Dae, Yonhap file photo)

Moon asked the UN to monitor the implementation of his summit deal with the North's leader Kim Jong-un last week to turn the Demilitarized Zone into a genuine peace belt.

In the Panmunjom talks with Moon, Kim said his regime will deactivate the nuclear facilities in the northeastern region in May and invite South Korean and US journalists and experts to come along and make sure that it's really happening.

Moon was also quoted as telling the UN leader, "I would like the UN to issue a declaration to support the Panmunjom Declaration via the General Assembly or the Security Council."

The UN chief responded he's willing to cooperate on the issue as he hopes to help efforts to make peace take root in Korea, Kim said.

He added he would assign a UN disarmament official to work with Seoul on the matter. (Yonhap)
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