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UN welcomes inter-Korean summit, ready to offer assistance

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The United Nations on Tuesday welcomed the forthcoming summit between the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) and South Korea, saying it was ready to assist the process.

"The Secretary-General is encouraged by the advances made during the latest inter-Korean talks, particularly the agreement to hold a summit meeting soon, to further reduce military tensions, and to discuss denuclearization in future talks with all relevant parties," Stephane Dujarric, spokesperson for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, said in a statement.

"The Secretary-General reiterates the commitment of the United Nations to further assist in this process with the governments concerned," the statement read. "The latest developments are further steps forward in laying the foundation for the resumption of sincere dialogue, leading to sustainable peace and denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula."

At the daily news briefing, Dujarric said, "We're obviously encouraged by these discussions. Anything that can reduce further military tensions, I think is, is to be welcomed."

The DPRK and South Korea have agreed to hold the third inter-Korean summit talks in late April after South Korean President Moon Jae-in's special delegation led by Chung Eui-yong, Moon's top national security adviser, paid a two-day visit to Pyongyang.

In December, Guterres had sent the UN political affairs chief, Jeffrey Feltman, to Pyongyang to urge the DPRK to open dialogue for ending the crisis on the Korean Peninsula.

He was, however, told by Pyongyang that "now was not the time."

The UN Security Council last year imposed tough new economic sanctions aimed at choking off funding for Pyongyang's military programs after the DPRK carried out its sixth nuclear test and a series of missile launches.

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