South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Friday stressed the need to start easing international sanctions against North Korea to further motivate the communist state in its efforts to denuclearize in a summit with British Prime Minister Theresa May.
The British leader agreed on the need to come up with ways to move forward the North's denuclearization process while also stressing the need for Pyongyang to more clearly show its commitment to full denuclearization through action.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in (left) and British Prime Minister Theresa May (Yonhap)
"At least when North Korea reaches a point of no return in its denuclearization process, there needs to be humanitarian aid or a reduction of sanctions against the North and we need discussions at the UN Security Council (UNSC) on such a process," Moon was quoted as telling May.
The British prime minister welcomed the establishment of what she called a "different environment and opportunity" on the Korean Peninsula, noting Moon has played a pivotal role in moving forward the North's denuclearization process.
"Prime Minister May expressed her agreement on the need for concrete ways to further accelerate North Korea's denuclearization process as mentioned by President Moon and emphasized that North Korea too needs to show more concrete actions for its complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization," Moon's chief press secretary Yoon Young-chan said of the Moon-May summit held on the sidelines of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) summit.
Friday's meeting was the second between Moon and May. They first met on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York in 2017.
Moon filed a similar request for considerations to ease sanctions on North Korea at a bilateral summit with his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron, on Monday.
Both France and Britain are permanent members of the UNSC.
Moon and May also discussed ways to develop their countries' bilateral relations.
They noted the countries' relationship has steadily improved since their first summit during the UN General Assembly in New York last year and agreed to further expand practical cooperation through various consultation channels, Moon's presidential office Cheong Wa Dae said.
"The leaders agreed to have the governments of the two countries work closely together so their friendly ties, including their trade and investment relations, will continue to develop even after Britain's exit from the European Union," it added.
Moon and May met initially at around 10:30 a.m., but the meeting was cut short as the British leader was scheduled to deliver a speech at the ASEM summit.
The leaders met again later in the day for what Cheong Wa Dae called follow-up talks. (Yonhap)