Ban Ki-moon urges N Korea to take denuclearization steps

Former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to take concrete steps toward complete denuclearisation and gain the trust of the international community if he wants sanctions lifted.

Ban, a former South Korean foreign minister, said 'this is the time' to achieve North Korea's denuclearisation after nearly a quarter century of unsuccessful efforts, and that the North and the world should not lose this opportunity.

"I'd like to really advise the North Korean leader that the world is ready" to help his country, Ban told 'The Associated Press', specifically citing South Korea, the US, China, Japan and Russia.

He said denuclearisation is important for a better future for the two Koreas, including reconciliation and reunification.

"I hope this is the time, please do not lose this opportunity," he said.