Re-posted in part from The Washington Times

I was fortunate to have had the opportunity to meet on numerous occasions with Ban Ki-moon when he was the Republic of Korea’s minister of foreign affairs and trade.

During those meetings, it was apparent to me and others responsible for negotiations with North Korea that Minister Ban Ki-moon was seized with finding a peaceful resolution of the North Korea nuclear issue. He believed strongly that peaceful resolution of this issue would bring peace and prosperity to the region. Minister Ban Ki-moon’s focus always was the people in North Korea and the need to ensure that food assistance reached the people in a timely manner.

Not surprisingly, Minister Ban Ki-moon played a key role when the Six-Party Talks with North Korea succeeded in securing the joint statement on Sept. 19, 2005. It committed Pyongyang to comprehensive and verifiable denuclearization in return for security assurances, economic development aid, and eventually the provision of light-water reactors for civilian nuclear energy — once the North returned to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) as a non-nuclear-weapons state. READ MORE…