North Korea leader sincere, must be rewarded for move to abandon nuclear weapons: South Korean president

UNTV News   •   October 15, 2018   •   2582

FILE PHOTO – South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un walk during a luncheon, in this photo released by North Korea’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on September 21, 2018. KCNA via REUTERS

PARIS (Reuters) – North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is sincere and really means to abandon nuclear weapons, South Korean President Moon Jae-in told a French newspaper, adding that the international community needed to reward him for that.

Kim and U.S. President Donald Trump pledged at a landmark summit in Singapore in June to work toward denuclearization. But the agreement was short on specifics and talks have made little headway since, with the North refusing to declare its nuclear weapons and facilities or agree to a concrete timeline.

“This year I have discussed in depth with Kim for hours. These meetings have convinced me that he has taken the strategic decision to abandon his nuclear weapon,” Moon told Le Figaro in an interview before a state visit to Paris.

Moon is to meet President Emmanuel Macron on Monday.

While Pyongyang has stopped nuclear and missile tests this year, it failed to keep its promise to allow international inspections of its dismantling of the Punggye-ri site in May, stirring criticism that the move could be reversed.

But Moon said Kim was “sincere, calm and polite” and “felt frustrated by the international community’s continuing mistrust”.

“It is now time to respond to these efforts that were hard to agree to,” Moon said. “We need to assure Kim Jong Un that he took the right decision in deciding to denuclearize and we need to accompany him in his wish for a durable and solid peace.”

Washington wants concrete action, such as a full disclosure of North Korea’s nuclear and missile facilities, before meeting Pyongyang’s demands, including an official end to the Korean war and the easing of international sanctions.

Moon said he hoped another Trump-Kim summit would allow the two leaders to go further than the statements they made at their first meeting in Singapore.

“Declaring an end to the Korea war would be a start to establishing a regime of peace,” he said, also calling for the United States to take “reliable corresponding measures to guarantee the security of the regime”.

“We could also in the future discuss the easing of sanctions, in accordance with progress on denuclearization,” he added.

Reporting by Ingrid Melander; editing by David Stamp

Korean Air introduces social distancing measures for passengers

UNTV News   •   May 19, 2020

South Korea’s largest airline Korean Air has enacted social distancing measures to protect travelers to allow for a return to the skies during the global coronavirus pandemic.

Starting from Monday (May 18), the airline has made it necessary for all passengers and staff on board to wear face masks, but other social distancing measures such as leaving empty seats between passengers began on March 9.

On Tuesday (May 19) hundreds of domestic travelers were seen in Seoul’s Gimpo Airport wearing face masks and scanning their own boarding passes during boarding.

South Korea’s aviation regulator is also requiring travelers’ temperatures be checked in airports. Airport authorities are also asking travelers to stand at least 1 meter (3 ft) apart and regularly apply hand sanitizer. (Reuters)

(Production: Dogyun Kim, Minwoo Park, Heejung Jung)

South Korea scrambles to contain new coronavirus outbreak threatening Seoul

UNTV News   •   May 11, 2020

South Korean officials scrambled on Monday (May 11) to contain a new coronavirus outbreak that is threatening to spread throughout the densely populated capital city of Seoul, leading the country to reconsider plans to reopen schools.

Officials reported 35 new infections across the country as of midnight on Sunday (May 10), the second consecutive day of new cases of that magnitude and the highest numbers in more than a month, reinforcing fears the country could be entering a second wave outbreak.

Most of the new cases were linked to an outbreak at several Seoul nightclubs and bars. Authorities had tested 4,000 people who had patronised the night spots, but were still trying to track down around 3,000 more.

Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon pleaded with clubgoers to be tested, warning that people caught evading testing could be fined.

“If Seoul was infiltrated, the Republic of Korea will be infiltrated,” he said, noting the city currently has fewer than 700 of the nation’s 10,909 cases, which include 256 deaths.

The spike in cases comes just as the South Korean government was easing some social distancing restrictions and moving to fully reopen schools and businesses, in a transition from intensive social distancing to “distancing in daily life.” (Reuters)

(Production: Minwoo Park, Hyunyoung Yi)

South Korean president warns of epidemic second wave

UNTV News   •   May 10, 2020

South Korean President Moon Jae-In

South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Sunday (May 10) warned of a second wave of the epidemic later this year, saying the recent cluster underscored the risks that the virus which causes COVID-19 can spread widely again at any time.

“It’s not over until it’s over. While keeping enhanced alertness till the end, we must never lower our guard regarding epidemic prevention,” he said in a televised speech marking the third anniversary of his inauguration.

South Korea reported 34 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, the highest daily number in a month, after a small outbreak emerged around a slew of nightclubs that a confirmed patient had visited.

Of the new cases, 26 were domestically transmitted infections and eight were imported cases, the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) said.

As part of a long-term battle on COVID-19, the KCDC will be given greater power and will be renamed the Disease Control and Prevention Administration, Moon said. Local governments will set up their own epidemic response systems with more experts.

(Production: Hyunyoung Yi)

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