September 21, 2022 12:01
President Yoon Suk-yeol on Tuesday urged the UN General Assembly in New York to "protect the values of freedom" to overcome economic and security crises.
In his first speech at the world body since his inauguration, Yoon said, "When freedom of any individual in a nation comes under threat, members of the community must join hands to remove the threat and defend freedom."
He called on the international community to join hands to overcome the threats posed by climate change, food shortages and energy insecurity, compounded by the coronavirus pandemic and Russian invasion of Ukraine.
As part of Korea's efforts, Yoon pledged US$300 million for the development of coronavirus vaccines and cures, $30 million to help emerging countries respond to the pandemic, and sharing environmental protection knowhow and digital technology with poor countries.
Yoon did not mention North Korea's nuclear and missile threat in his speech but said, "Nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction pose increasing threats to humanity."
Afterwards Yoon met for lunch with former World Bank President Kim Yong in a hotel in New York. He also met UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and discussed the North Korean nuclear threat and UN response.
He is scheduled to meet U.S. President Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on the sidelines of the event.
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