United Nations: On September 21st, South Korean President Moon Jae-in stood before the UN General Assembly to address his concerns of a volatile North Korean neighbor. As tensions soar in the region due to North Korea’s nuclear and missile testing, the South Korean President expressed his heartfelt concerns to the international community. South Korea’s capital city of Seoul, home to about 25 million South Koreans, would likely be annihilated in the event of a war. The leader of South Korea, however, has not quite given up hope for a peaceful resolution.
“For me, the President of the only divided country, peace is a calling and a historical duty,” the South Korean president said. He also called for North Korea to cease its hostile policies and take part in a verifiable program to abandon its nuclear weapons. The U.N. Security Council has sanctioned North Korea, part of international efforts to a seek diplomatic and political resolution. The South Korean president called for easing of tensions with the country’s northern neighbor, “We do not desire the collapse of North Korea. We will not seek unification by absorption or artificial means, if North Korea makes a decision even now to stand on the right side of history, we are ready to assist North Korea together with the international community.”
The speech comes in light of rising international risk and tensions of the North Korean threat. “The spirit of the United Nations is to realize global peace through multilateral dialogue,” Moon said on Thursday at the U.N. General Assembly’s annual debate, “North Korea should acknowledge all these immutable facts as soon as possible. It must immediately cease making reckless choices that could lead to its own isolation and downfall and choose the path of dialogue.”
After its 6th nuclear test on September 3rd, 2017 including repetitive ICBM tests, international leaders continued to voice their concerns at the GA. On Tuesday, the U.K.’s Theresa May also called for further steps to exert pressure on Kim Jong Un, “Let us not fail this time. Let our message to North Korea be clear”. US President Donald Trump also emphasized the issue during his address on Tuesday, “The United States has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea”. While North Korean diplomats were not present for Trump’s speech, the country’s foreign minister Ri Yong Ho Ri, commented on the U.S. President’s remarks to reporters outside of his New York Hotel, “If he was thinking he could scare us with the sound of a dog barking, that's really a dog dream.”