S. Korean president vows ‘fundamental’ denuclearization of N. Korea

SEOUL-- South Korean President Moon Jae-in vowed "bold" and "fundamental" denuclearization of North Korea on Tuesday, in what could be considered the most strongly worded warning against the communist country from the administration to date.

His remarks came in a telephone conversation with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who called to congratulate Moon on his recent election and inauguration, according to Yoon Young-chan, Moon's chief press secretary.

"President Moon said he sought to boldly and fundamentally denuclearize North Korea through all available means, including sanctions and dialogue, with the objective of complete denuclearization of the North," Yoon told reporters.

Moon has stressed a need to employ both dialogue and pressure in dealing with a provocative North Korea, as well as the importance of denuclearizing the communist state.

However, it marked the first time the new South Korean president has called for a complete and fundamental denuclearization of the North.

His remarks followed the North's launch of what is believed to be an intermediate range ballistic missile on Sunday, only four days after the new South Korean leader came into office following his victory in a rare presidential election held last week.

The U.N. Security Council issued a statement condemning the North's latest missile launch earlier Tuesday.

Moon asked Canada for its continued support for Seoul's efforts to rid North Korea of nuclear weapons until the North is "completely denuclearized," Yoon said.

Trudeau said his country will remain a strong supporter of South Korea, also noting its good relations with both China and the United States, the Cheong Wa Dae official said.

China, North Korea's largest communist ally, is often seen as standing on the opposite side of South Korea and its U.S. ally on issues of how to deal with the North.

"Prime Minister Trudeau said he will gladly help at any time when there is anything he can do to help ensure a peaceful future for all people on the Korean Peninsula," Yoon said.

Moon and Trudeau also invited each other to visit their countries, and both said they will be looking forward to meeting each other at the upcoming G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany in July.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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