Moon arrives in NY for U.N. meeting, talks with global leaders

September 18, 2017

NEW YORK, Sept. 18 (Yonhap) — South Korean President Moon Jae-in arrived in New York on Monday for the upcoming U.N. General Assembly and talks with other global leaders that will likely focus on ways to rein in North Korea’s evolving nuclear and missile technologies.

Moon’s four-day visit here follows North Korea’s sixth and apparently most powerful nuclear test so far staged Sept. 3.

The South Korean president will attend a U.N. General Assembly meeting, set to start Tuesday, and also deliver a keynote speech to the U.N. gathering later in the week. He is also expected to hold a series of bilateral and multilateral talks with other global leaders, including U.S. President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Moon, Trump and Abe are scheduled to hold a three-way summit Thursday, with North Korea’s nuclear and missile provocations expected to top the agenda of their meeting over lunch, according to Cheong Wa Dae officials.

Officials from South Korea’s presidential office Cheong Wa Dae earlier said the president is expected to call for additional pressure on the communist North so the impoverished state will have no other option but to come to the dialogue table.

President Moon Jae-in and first lady Kim Jung-sook wave before departing for the United States, at Seoul Air Base in Seongnam, south of Seoul, on Sept. 18, 2017. (Yonhap)President Moon Jae-in and first lady Kim Jung-sook wave before departing for the United States, at Seoul Air Base in Seongnam, south of Seoul, on Sept. 18, 2017. (Yonhap)

“At the three-nation summit, the leaders will hold in-depth discussions on ways to strengthen the three countries’ close cooperation in dealing with the North Korean nuclear and missile issues, and enhance their cooperation with the international community,” an official said earlier.

The trilateral summit will mark the second of its kind since Moon took office in May. The first such meeting was held on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, in July.

Since Moon came into office, Pyongyang has also staged 10 missile tests.

In their phone conversation held Sunday, Moon and Trump stressed the need to thoroughly implement U.N. Security Council resolutions that have been imposed on North Korea, including the latest sanctions resolution adopted early last week to punish the communist state for its latest nuclear test.

The newest UNSC resolution froze North Korea’s oil imports at the current level while cutting its imports of refined petroleum products by half.

“The two leaders agreed to further strengthen the close cooperation between South Korea and the United States, and put more practical pressure on North Korea based on their cooperation to make North Korea realize it will only become more isolated diplomatically and face additional economic pressure if it continues to make provocations and eventually enter the path of collapse,” Cheong Wa Dae spokesman Park Soo-hyun said earlier of the phone conversation.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in holds a telephone conversation with U.S. President Donald Trump at his presidential office Cheong Wa Dae, which provided the photo, in Seoul on Sept. 17, 2017. (Yonhap)South Korean President Moon Jae-in holds a telephone conversation with U.S. President Donald Trump at his presidential office Cheong Wa Dae, which provided the photo, in Seoul on Sept. 17, 2017. (Yonhap)

In addition to their three-way talks with the Japanese leader, Moon and Trump are also expected to hold a bilateral summit as they agreed to continue their discussions when they meet in New York this week.

During his four-day stay, the South Korean leader will meet with South Korean residents and expatriates in the United States.

He is also scheduled to attend a meeting with South Korean and American business leaders where he is expected to promote new business opportunities in his country, as well as bilateral economic ties between the two countries.

The new South Korean leader will attend a dinner hosted by the U.S. think tank Atlantic Council, where he will be presented with the Global Citizen Award. Moon has been named one of three award winners this year, along with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Chinese pianist Lang Lang.

“President Moon is implementing strong reform policies to resolve daunting, major issues ranging from eradicating deep-rooted problems that exist in the political and economic system to addressing the North Korean nuclear crisis and creating jobs,” the Atlantic Council said.

Moon will head back home Thursday after delivering a keynote speech at the U.N. General Assembly, in which he is widely expected to call for international efforts to rein in North Korea’s evolving nuclear and missile technologies.

bdk@yna.co.kr

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