Ban lauds South Korean president for commitment to peace

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon praised South Korean President Park Geun-hye on Friday for her commitment to peace and security on the Korean Peninsula.

During a meeting between the two leaders, Ban and President Park discussed the Korean Peninsula, the allegations of chemical weapon use in Syria, Egypt and the Middle East. Ban commended President Park's attempts to build trust between South Korea and North Korea and promote an era of cooperation and peace in Northeast Asia.

Ban reiterated his support for the family reunions between the two Koreas and the normalization of operations in the Kaesong Industrial Complex. He also supported a recent proposal by President Park to build an international peace park in the demilitarized zone as a symbol of cooperation, dialogue and reconciliation between the two Koreas. Ban said the U.N. would be a reliable partner in the quest for peace.

Ban expressed his appreciation for South Korea's strong support to the U.N., including active work on international peace and security as a non-permanent member of the Security Council. He also said South Korea was a leader on climate change, sustainable development, global education and women and children's health.

Both leaders agreed on the need to continue humanitarian assistance to groups in need in North Korea, in particular, groups of young children. South Korea recently contributed to multiple U.N. programs and Ban expressed hope that other donors would positively respond to the humanitarian appeal launched by the U.N. on North Korea.