South Korea President Yoon Suk-yeol said on Sunday that North Korea’s denuclearisation is a precondition for peace in the Indo-Pacific region and that his country remains prepared to provide unsparing assistance should the North decide to denuclearise.
Yoon made the remarks during an East Asia Summit in Phnom Penh, which brought together the leaders of member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and eight dialogue partners, including South Korea, the US, Japan and China, Yonhap News Agency reported.
“President Yoon said North Korea’s denuclearisation must come first for a peaceful Indo-Pacific, and that should North Korea launch another intercontinental ballistic missile or stage a nuclear test despite the repeated concerns and warnings of the international community, the international community should respond firmly,” his office said in a press release.
“At the same time, he said the door to dialogue with North Korea is always open and reaffirmed that should North Korea take steps to denuclearise, we will provide unsparing assistance in line with our ‘audacious plan,'” it said, referring to Yoon’s initiative to provide massive assistance to the North in exchange for a denuclearisation commitment.
Yoon also called for refraining from actions that raise tensions in the South China Sea, saying the body of water should become “a sea of peace and prosperity that defends the rules-based maritime order” where the freedom of navigation and overflight are guaranteed, his office said.
On the war in Ukraine, Yoon said Russia’s invasion of the country was a violation of international law, and a threat to the lives and human rights of the Ukrainian people.
He said Ukraine’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence should be respected, and that South Korea will further increase humanitarian assistance to the war-torn nation.
Yoon also expressed deep concern over the decline of democracy in Myanmar, and expressed hope for a return of freedom and democracy to the nation.
He pledged South Korea’s increased humanitarian assistance to the Myanmarese people in close cooperation with the international community.
Yoon again stressed South Korea’s commitment to freedom, human rights and the rule of law as outlined in its new Indo-Pacific strategy.