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Secretary-General pledges UN support for inter-Korean summit

Secretary-General pledges UN support for inter-Korean summit

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today welcomed this week’s inter-Korean summit as an opportunity to contribute to reconciliation, cooperation and denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and pledged any United Nations support that may be needed.

In a statement issued by his spokesperson, Mr. Ban wished the leaders of the Republic of Korea and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) success in “using this historic occasion to lay a solid foundation for peace and stability” on the peninsula at their three-day meeting in the DPRK capital of Pyongyang beginning tomorrow.

“The Secretary-General hopes the summit will lead to increased inter-Korean reconciliation and cooperation, as well as promoting co-prosperity,” the statement said.

“He further hopes that it will contribute to the progress of the Six-Party Talks on the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and advance security cooperation in Northeast Asia. The United Nations stands ready to provide assistance as may be required,” it concluded.

The Six-Party Talks in Beijing between the two nations, China, Japan, Russia and the United States are currently seeking to work out the details of an agreement reached in February on dismantling the DPRK’s nuclear weapons facilities.

Mr. Ban told the DPRK’s Permanent Representative to the UN today that he will “spare no efforts to facilitate such a peace negotiation” between the Republic of Korea and the DPRK.

“I sincerely hope that the leaders of both Koreas will make a great historic successful result out of this meeting and I am confident that this summit meeting will pave the groundwork for peace and security of the Korean Peninsula, ultimately leading this path to the reunification of the Korea Peninsula,” he said at the start of a meeting with Ambassador Pak Gil Yon.

“At the same time, I sincerely hope that this summit meeting will pave a good groundwork again beyond the Korean Peninsula and we’ll be able to discuss peace and security in Northeast Asia,” he added, asking Mr. Pak to convey his message to DPRK leader Kim Jong-il.

This week’s summit is the result of the “good atmosphere” generated by the Joint Declaration of 2000, Mr. Pak noted.

He said he hoped the summit will contribute to “the promotion of relations between the North and South as well as co-prosperity of the nation, of Korea, as well as the relaxation of tensions in the regional Northeast Asia as well as the world over.”

Yesterday, Mr. Ban telephoned President Roh Moo-hyun of the Republic of Korea to convey his best wishes on the eve of the historic summit. The Secretary-General, who has previously served as that country’s Foreign Minister, voiced his hopes for increased reconciliation and strengthened cooperation between the Koreas.