Guterres: Dealing with North Korea needs political melancholy

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Tuesday that dealing with North Korea needed political wisdom to avoid war and criticized world leaders who fuel hatred of refugees for political gains, a criticism of US President Donald Trump.

In his first address to the UN General Assembly since taking office in January, Guterres said the crisis over North Korea’s nuclear program and ballistic missile program must be resolved through a political process.

“This is the time to resort to political sophistication,” said the former Portuguese prime minister. “We must not go to war unduly.”

Trump warned North Korea that military action was an option for the United States after Pyongyang carried out a series of tests aimed at acquiring the capability to target the United States with a nuclear-capable missile.

The UN Security Council has unanimously approved nine rounds of sanctions against North Korea since 2006.

Guterres appealed to the council to maintain its unity over the North Korean crisis.

Guterres, who is also the head of the UN refugee agency, said he was “painfully aware of the stereotyping of refugees and migrants as a scapegoat and seeing political figures fueling hatred in search of electoral gains.”

Shortly after taking office in January, Trump issued an executive order suspending the 120-day US refugee program and preventing Syrian refugees from entering the country indefinitely and suspending for 90 days arrivals from six Muslim-majority countries.

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