South Korean President Moon Jae-in said yesterday he sees his final year in office as the last chance to achieve a lasting peace with North Korea, and said it was time to take action amid stalled talks over Pyongyang's nuclear and missile programmes.
Moon's comments, in a speech marking the fourth year of his presidency, come ahead of his first summit with U.S. President Joe Biden in Washington on May 21.
The South Korean president is expected to push the United States to seek engagement with North Korea, though Biden has shown little interest in making North Korea a top priority.
"I will consider the remaining one year of my term to be the last opportunity to move from an incomplete peace toward one that is irreversible," Moon said. "Now, the time for long deliberations is also coming to an end. It is time to take action."
Biden's administration says its overtures to Pyongyang have not been answered, and it recently completed a policy review that called for a "practical" approach of using diplomacy to find achievable goals toward eventually persuading North Korea to surrender its nuclear weapons.
Moon said that he welcomed the conclusion of the policy review and that it demonstrated a "view that the current stalemate in dialogue is not desirable."