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Ban: ‘UN mulls supporting establishment of DMZ Peace Park’

Ban: ‘UN mulls supporting establishment of DMZ Peace Park’

Posted August. 27, 2013 04:22,   


“I will seek to find an appropriate chance and consider my visit to North Korea and other issues through consultations with the South and North Korean governments.”

“There is no change to my principle that I am willing to visit North Korea and ready to take on whatever role it takes as the U.N. secretary-general to promote positive progress in the inter-Korean relations,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told a press conference at Seoul’s Foreign Affairs Ministry in central Seoul on Monday, visiting his home country. Ban had expressed his intention in the past to visit the North to seek denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and establish a peace regime.

“Nothing specific has been determined yet,” Ban said, adding however, “Since inter-Korean relations are gradually making progress at present, the concerned parties should address issues first, and it is the role of the U.N. secretary-general to provide political support thereafter.” He also said, “I occasionally have met with North Korea`s UN Ambassador Sin Son Ho and discussed the roles that I can do to help improve inter-Korean relations.”

The U.N. chief also briefly mentioned some of his conversations with President Park Geun-hye during their meeting last Friday, including the construction of a World Peace Park with the Demilitarized Zone. “I received detailed briefing on the DMZ World Peace Park by the president and her senior secretary for foreign affairs and national security Joo Cheol-ki,” Ban said. “I told (President Park) that if there is any progress in the consultations between the two Koreas, the U.N. will provide proactive support.” He went on to say, “The U.N. already started an internal political and institutional review to help establish the DMZ World Peace Park.”

“Since the inauguration of President Park, ‘the Korean Peninsula trust-building process’ was announced despite difficult situations in inter-Korean relations, and things are moving into a desirable direction at present,” Ban said. “I speak highly of the (South Korean) government for handling situations decisively and self-restrictively.”

Ban also expressed his deep regret over the situation that the three countries of Korea, China and Japan are in conflict over history issues.” Asked by a reporter on his assessment of Japan’s move to amend its pacifist Constitution, Ban stressed, “Japanese leaders must deeply reflect how Japan should recognize its past history to maintain future-oriented and amicable relations with neighbors, and have an international vision to look to the future.”

In the opening part of his speech on the day, Ban expressed concern over the disaster caused by the use of chemical weapons in Syria. “It is a shocking act of crime and constitutes a grave violation of international laws, if chemical weapons were used by someone, whoever it is and in whatever situation,” Ban said. “The world should in no way allow immunity of responsibility for such a crime against humanity.” He urged the Syrian government to proactively cooperate with the onsite inspection team from the U.N., which started probe Monday.”