Republic of Korea (ROK) President Moon Jae-in on Monday asked French President Emmanuel Macron to help ease UN sanctions on the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) when it takes practical steps to denuclearize, Yonhap reported.
Moon, who is on a four-day state visit to France, said the easing of economic sanctions could accelerate denuclearization steps.
DPRK leader Kim Jong Un said he is willing to halt the country's nuclear and missile tests, dismantle its production facilities, in addition to dismantling all nuclear weapons and nuclear materials it currently possesses if the United States takes corresponding measures, Moon told Macron during their talks, according to Yonhap citing Moon's chief press secretary, Yoon Young-chan.
"I ask President Macron to play such a role as (the head of state of) a permanent member of the UN Security Council," Moon was quoted as saying.
The French president said France will support ways to accelerate DPRK's denuclearization while stressing the need to maintain international sanctions to completely, verifiably and irreversibly denuclearize the country.
Pyongyang has demanded timely rewards for its efforts taken so far on denuclearization, while Washington insists on maximum sanctions and pressure until denuclearization is fully complete.
At the joint press conference with Macron, Moon acknowledged the necessity of maintaining the sanctions, but said easing sanctions could also encourage the DPRK to denuclearize.
Earlier in the day, Pyongyang and Seoul agreed to establish rail and road links across their border. The two sides will hold a ground-breaking ceremony in late November or early December.
It is the latest efforts by the two sides to push for the implementation of the Pyongyang Declaration announced at the third inter-Korean summit last month.
Also on Monday, the US State Department reiterated that it would not ease sanctions on the DPRK until it abandons all nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs, and expects all UN members to fully implement the sanctions under the UN Security Council resolutions.
The rhetoric came in response to Yonhap's questions after the inter-Korean logistics agreement.