President Moon Jae-in met with U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres in New York for 18 minutes from 2:12 p.m. today (local time) on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly. They discussed matters related to the Korean Peninsula and other international pending issues.
At their meeting, Secretary-General Guterres said that he was deeply grateful to Korea for its cooperation with the United Nations on all fronts. Notably, the Secretary-General expressed his profound appreciation for President Moon’s role and endeavors in many areas, ranging from new technology, humanitarian assistance to North Korea and sustainable development goals to talks between the two Koreas and between the United States and North Korea.
In response, President Moon noted, “The visit to North Korea by United Nations’ Under-Secretary-General Jeffrey Feltman in 2017 and the U.N.'s adoption of an Olympic Truce resolution were the first steps that helped make the PyeongChang Winter Olympics a historic peace Olympics. These undertakings by the United Nations have led to inter-Korean summits and North Korea-U.S. summits, and a third North Korea-U.S. summit is close at hand now. I hope the United Nations will continue to play its role in the peace process on the Korean Peninsula.”
Mentioning the high percentage of coal in the energy mix of Korea, China and Japan, Secretary-General Guterres said he looked forward to Korea leading the efforts to reduce carbon emissions by replacing coal-fired power generation with renewable energy going forward.
The President replied, “Korea completely suspended the construction of coal-fired power plants upon the launch of my Administration. Furthermore, we will shut down six outdated coal-fired power plants by 2022.”
Expressing his deep gratitude, Secretary-General Guterres said that this would be very helpful in discussions with China and Japan. The Secretary-General expressed the hope that Korea’s exemplary case could be disseminated and adopted throughout the world.
Speaking of humanitarian aid to North Korea, President Moon said, “Korea offered US$8 million to the World Food Programme and UNICEF and is seeking to provide 50,000 tons of rice in addition through the WFP. We are willing to further expand support depending on the progress of North Korea’s denuclearization going forward.”
In conclusion, President Moon asked Secretary-General Guterres to attend the Partnering for Green Growth and the Global Goals 2030 (P4G) Summit to be held in Korea next year.