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UN’s Guterres declares “clear commitment” to denuclearization of North Korea

#UNs #Guterres #declares #clear #commitment #denuclearization #North #Korea

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres expressed his “firm commitment” to North Korea’s denuclearization during his visit to Seoul on Friday, weeks after Pyongyang said it was “ready to mobilize its nuclear deterrent.”

Guterres arrived in Seoul on Thursday after a trip to Japan where he was delivering a speech to mark the 77th anniversary of the world’s first atomic bombing in Hiroshima. He was also in Mongolia.

“I would like to reiterate our clear commitment to the full, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, the DPRK,” he said during his meeting with South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol, using North Korea’s official name.

The goal is a “fundamental goal of bringing peace, security and stability to the entire region,” Guterres told Yoon, according to footage broadcast by local media.

Guterres’ comments come as Washington and Seoul officials have repeatedly warned that the North is preparing to conduct its seventh nuclear test.

On Thursday, Pyongyang blamed Seoul for a Covid-19 outbreak in the north and threatened to “wipe out” Seoul authorities.

Pyongyang has conducted a record-breaking blitz of weapons tests so far this year, including firing an ICBM at full range for the first time since 2017.

Last month, Northern leader Kim Jong Un said his country was “ready to mobilize its nuclear deterrent in a future military conflict with the United States and Seoul.”

Guterres issued a stark warning about the horrors of nuclear weapons at a key NPT conference in New York last week, which he repeated in Japan on Monday.

“We are witnessing a radicalization of the geopolitical situation that makes the risk of renewed nuclear war something we cannot entirely forget,” he said at a press conference in Tokyo.

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