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(LEAD) Moon calls on North to end vicious cycle of raising tension

2017/09/22 15:51

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AIR FORCE ONE, Sept. 22 (Yonhap) -- 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 but to pressure North Korea with one voice," he told reporters aboard Air Force One.

Moon made the remarks hours after he agreed with U.S. 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.

Moon called for an end to the cycle of provocations and sanctions.

"We need to end this situation where provocations come in response to sanctions, which then lead to stronger sanctions. We have to get out of this at an early date. This is a big task," he said.

Citing his earlier meeting with the heads of key U.S. think tanks, Moon said he and the U.S. 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 get over this stage and North Korea stops making provocations, then we may consider various fundamental solutions."

   In his inaugural address to the U.N. General Assembly on Thursday, Moon 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.

President Moon Jae-in speaks to reporters on the presidential jet on Sept. 22, 2017, on his way home from a visit to New York for the U.N. General Assembly. (Yonhap) President Moon Jae-in speaks to reporters on the presidential jet on Sept. 22, 2017, on his way home from a visit to New York for the U.N. General Assembly. (Yonhap)

bdk@yna.co.kr

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