SEOUL, Aug 12 (Reuters) – United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who is in Seoul for meetings with South Korean leaders, said on Friday that he fully supports efforts to completely denuclearize North Korea.
“I would like to take this opportunity to express our full support for the complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, especially North Korea, and say that this goal is very important to achieving regional security, peace and stability. “, he said when meeting with President Yoon Suk-yeol.
Yoon, a conservative who took office in May, has said he is open to diplomacy but has also promised strong military action to deter Pyongyang from using its weapons.
North Korea has fired a record number of missile fires this year, and officials in Seoul and Washington say it appears to be preparing to test a nuclear weapon for the first time since 2017 amid deadlock in denuclearization talks.
Pyongyang also says it is open to diplomacy, but accuses the United States and South Korea of maintaining hostile policies such as sanctions and military drills.
(Reporting by Josh Smith, Daewoung Kim and Minwoo Park. Editing by Ros Russell, translated by José Muñoz in the Gdańsk newsroom)