8 August 2007 United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has welcomed the forthcoming summit meeting between the leaders of the two Koreas as way to advance progress already made in international negotiations to rid the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) of all its nuclear weapon facilities and materials in return for energy and other aid.
“The Secretary-General believes that such a meeting offers a significant opportunity for the promotion of peace and security on the Korean Peninsula and inter-Korean reconciliation,” said a statement issued last night by Mr. Ban’s spokesperson following the announcement that DPRK leader Kim Jong-Il and Republic of Korea (ROK) President Roh Moo-Hyun would meet in Pyongyang, the DPRK capital, on 28 August.
“He wishes to commend the two leaders for their initiative and hopes that this positive development will give further impetus to the progress made recently within the framework of the Six-Party Talks,” the statement added.
Those talks in Beijing between the DPRK, ROK, Japan, Russia and the United States, led to an agreement in February on dismantling the DPRK’s nuclear weapons facilities and the return to the country of UN International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors over four years after they were ordered out after the DPRK withdrew from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
Last month, IAEA inspectors confirmed that five nuclear facilities in the DPRK have been shut down.