U.N. chief Guterres sees meaningful negotiation ahead on North Korea

United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres addresses a High-Level Meeting on Peacebuilding and Sustaining Peace at United Nations headquarters in New York City, New York, U.S., April 24, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Segar

LONDON (Reuters) - United Nations Secretary-Genera Antonio Guterres on Thursday said he was optimistic about the prospects for progress on the issue of North Korea’s nuclear program after recent diplomatic moves by Pyongyang, Seoul and Washington.

“I am optimistic ... I think now things are on track for a meaningful negotiation,” he said during an interview on BBC Radio 4.

“It’s in the interest of the North Koreans that have been dramatically impacted by the sanctions, it’s in the interest of South Korea that needs peace and security, it’s in the interest of China that was always against a nuclear North Korea but also wants a good security framework in the region, it’s in the interest of the United States because for the United States the de-nuclearization of the Korean peninsula has always been a main objective.”

Reporting by Estelle Shirbon; Editing by Alistair Smout