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World leaders condemn North Korea but stress different approaches

By
Elizabeth Shim
South Korean President Moon Jae-in said Thursday he does not seek a North Korea regime collapse, during the 72nd General Debate at the United Nations General Assembly in New York. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI
South Korean President Moon Jae-in said Thursday he does not seek a North Korea regime collapse, during the 72nd General Debate at the United Nations General Assembly in New York. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

Sept. 21 (UPI) -- Top officials from China, South Korea and Japan condemned North Korea's nuclear weapons program this week, but at least one official said "calm" is needed in order to prevent tensions from spiraling out of control.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Wednesday the situation on the peninsula is serious, but the issue must be resolved peacefully through dialogue and negotiations, Chinese state-owned news agency Xinhua reported.

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Wang made the remarks during a meeting with German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel, held on the sidelines of the 72nd United Nations General Assembly.

The German diplomat had said there should be no military option, according to Xinhua.

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That view was not shared by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who told the U.N. assembly that "all options are on the table" when addressing North Korea, the Nikkei Asian Review reported Thursday.

Abe condemned Pyongyang's threats, describing nuclear weapons and missiles as "unprecedented" and "indisputably a matter of urgency."

"North Korea has no intention whatsoever, of abandoning its nuclear or missile development," Abe said. "What is needed...is not dialogue, but pressure."

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The prime minister also said North Korea faces a better future if it takes steps toward denuclearization.

In his address to the U.N. assembly on Thursday morning, South Korean President Moon Jae-in condemned North Korea's provocations, and urged Pyongyang to return to dialogue.

"We do not desire the collapse of North Korea. We will not seek unification by absorption or artificial means," Moon said. "If North Korea makes a decision even now to stand on the right side of history, we are ready to assist North Korea together with the international community."

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Moon also said he looks forward to, "North Korean athletes marching into the stadium during the opening ceremony" of the upcoming 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in South Korea.

The Kim Jong Un regime has yet to respond to the invitation to partake in the Winter Games.

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