UN chief welcomes agreement between Seoul, Pyongyang to hold talks

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

6 June 2013 – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today welcomed the announcement by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) and the Republic of Korea on their agreement to hold talks.

“This is an encouraging development towards reducing tensions and promoting peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula,” his spokesperson said in a statement.

Mr. Ban has reiterated that any differences related to the Korean peninsula should be resolved peacefully through dialogue.

His spokesperson said Mr. Ban is “hopeful” that this is the beginning of a trust-building process between the parties.

“He encourages them to build on this opportunity and to generate momentum for further progress,” his spokesperson said in a statement, adding that as Secretary-General, Mr. Ban will spare no effort to support inter-Korean reconciliation.

During the noon briefing at the UN Headquarters in New York, the spokesperson added that the agreement to hold talks is related to the Kaesong Industrial Complex, in the border town of Kaesong just across the Demilitarized Zone.

The complex reportedly employs more than 53,000 citizens of the DPRK at 123 companies of the Republic of Korea (ROK).

Mr. Ban had called it a “valuable bridge between the two countries” and said he was “seriously concerned” when the complex was shut in April.


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