September 21, 2017 10:57
President Moon Jae-in on Wednesday pushed against escalating military threats to North Korea from Washington after U.S. President Donald Trump in a barely coherent address to the UN threatened to "totally destroy" the renegade country.
In a meeting with bankers and business executives in New York on Wednesday, Moon warned that "large-scale military operations result in the deaths of innocent civilians" and stressed the need for a diplomatic solution in dealing with North Korea.
"Tensions are high now, but that is only the reason why we more need peace," he said. He also told businessmen that despite risks from North Korea, South Korea is on a growth trend and now is the right time to invest in the country.
He vowed to tap into South Korea's strong alliance with the U.S. and support from the international community to get North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons. But the South Korean government's stance "remains firm that the North Korean nuclear crisis must be solved through peaceful methods and diplomatic efforts," he added.
Moon made similar appeals when he met with the leaders on the U.K., Czech Republic and Senegal at the UN a day earlier.
Moon also accepted the 2017 Global Citizen Award from the Atlantic Council, a U.S. think tank. It was handed to him by the 2011 laureate Christine Lagarde, the managing director of the International Monetary Fund.
The award is given each year to people who the think tank believes have contributed to awareness of global citizenship and democracy.
"The people of South Korea have shown the rest of the world that all power in a democratic nation originates from the people, and to myself, who became the president through such power, that the president, too, is only one of those people," Moon said as he accepted the award.
"The candlelight revolution [that led to the impeachment of former president Park Geun-hye] was a massive movement, involving some 17 million people over a period of several months, but it remained a completely peaceful and cultural event with no violence from the start to finish and not a single arrest," he added.
Cheong Wa Dae prepared a video clip of the protests that was shown before Moon went on stage to accept the award.
Meanwhile, Moon will meet with Trump on Thursday afternoon and then sit down with Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe together. He is to address the UN General Assembly on Thursday morning.
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