Yoon, U.N. chief discuss N. Korea, Ukraine

September 20, 2023

President Yoon Suk Yeol met with U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday (local time) and expressed his wish to continue working with the global body to deter North Korea’s provocations and improve its human rights conditions, his office said.

The two met on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly in New York to discuss cooperation between South Korea and the U.N., Korean Peninsula issues and the war in Ukraine, the presidential office said in a press release.

Yoon stressed the importance of global solidarity centered on the U.N. in the current “polycrisis” era and stated South Korea’s commitment to fulfilling a “responsible role” befitting its international status.

He especially expressed South Korea’s commitment to actively promoting peace in the international community as a nonpermanent member of the U.N. Security Council from 2024-2025, while sharing plans to help restore peace in Ukraine.

“President Yoon said he looks forward to continued cooperation with the U.N. to prevent North Korea’s provocations and practically improve North Korea’s human rights situation,” the presidential office said.

Guterres thanked the South Korean government for its activities and contributions at the U.N. so far, saying he looks forward to even closer communication during its term as a Security Council member to help resolve critical international issues.

He also reaffirmed the U.N.’s commitment to working together for North Korea’s denuclearization and an improvement of its human rights conditions.

This was the third meeting between Yoon and Guterres.