South Korean President Moon Jae-in urged
neighbouring North Korea to engage in dialogue and show "its
commitment to completely dismantling its nuclear weapons" in a speech
Friday at the Swedish parliament.
"Dialogues with the outside world, whether they may be bilateral or
multilateral, must go on until North Korea earns the trust of the
international community," Moon said.
Moon said that sanctions against North Korea would be lifted in return for "sincere efforts." He pledged that peaceful dialogue would also mean that "no one would threaten the political system or safety of North Korea." Taking questions after his speech, Moon told a Swedish lawmaker that the two Korean states would also work to reduce conventional weapons once the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula was achieved.
Informal contacts continue "beneath the surface" between North Korea and South Korea, as well as between the US and North Korea, he said. Moon earlier this week said he hoped to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un before welcoming US President Donald Trump to Seoul at the end of June.
Sweden is celebrating 60 years of diplomatic ties with South Korea this year. It has also had an embassy in North Korea since the early 1970s and represents US diplomatic interests in Pyongyang.
The Scandinavian nation has also contributed observers to the demilitarized zone that separates the two Koreas. Swedish King Carl XVI Gustaf, Prime Minister Stefan Lofven and Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom attended the speech.
Moon earlier rode with the king to the Royal Palace in Stockholm in an open horse-drawn carriage for a formal welcoming ceremony. Sweden is the final stop on Moon's week-long tour of the Nordic region that included visits in Finland and Norway.
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