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Iran Press TV

South Korea's Moon sets final-year goal of 'irreversible peace' with North

Iran Press TV

Monday, 10 May 2021 10:36 AM

South Korean President Moon Jae-in has said he plans to use his final year in office to achieve enduring peace on the Korean Peninsula amid stalled talks over Pyongyang's nuclear and missile programs.

Addressing a news conference on the fourth anniversary of his presidency on Monday, Moon stressed that his last-year goal was an "irreversible peace" with North Korea, adding that, "Now, the time for long deliberations is also coming to an end. It is time to take action."

His comments come ahead of his first summit with US President Joe Biden scheduled for May 21 in Washington, with North Korea being high on the agenda.

The Biden administration has said it has completed a review of US policy on North Korea and is aiming for a realistic and practical approach rather than his predecessor's "grand bargain" strategy.

Moon was successful in jumpstarting diplomacy with North Korea in 2018, which saw then-US president Donald Trump holding inconclusive personal summits with Kim Jong-un.

Trump refused to meet Pyongyang's demand for the removal of some sanctions in return for major North Korean measures toward demilitarization. That hampered further diplomacy and prompted Kim to announce an end to a moratorium on the country's missile tests.

North Korea maintains that its nuclear and missile capabilities are intended to defend the country against potential aggression characterized by regular joint war games by Seoul and Washington on the Korean Peninsula.

In his speech, Moon stressed that North Korea was not rejecting dialogue, but rather was waiting to further assess US policy.

"We will closely coordinate our North Korea policy to restore inter-Korean dialogue" adding that "if there is an opportunity to restart the clock of peace and advance the peace process on the Korean Peninsula, I will do everything I can," he said.

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