SEOUL, Oct. 18 (Yonhap) -- The European Union's call for "complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization" (CVID) of North Korea is no different from South Korea's goal to achieve "complete denuclearization," the presidential spokesman said Thursday.
South Korea has used the expression "complete denuclearization" to describe its goal in the North Korean nuclear issue apparently in consideration of Pyongyang's aversion to CVID, which was first proposed by the administration of former U.S. President George W. Bush.
The North has denounced CVID as an attempt to unilaterally disarm it.
But that term re-emerged in statements issued this week after President Moon Jae-in held summit meetings with France and Italy, and the presidential spokesman said it's because it is a fixed term used in the EU on the North Korean nuclear issue.
Kim also said the term is no different in substantial meaning from South Korea's goal.
"CVID is a joint security policy position of the EU," Kim said. "Therefore, there must be EU-wide discussions and approval in advance if a different expression is going to be used."
France had asked for understanding for using the term in advance, and the South accepted it because the term isn't different in real meaning from the "complete denuclearization" expression that Seoul has so far used, he said.
Later Thursday, Moon was set to pay a visit to the Vatican for a meeting with Pope Francis.
Asked if the pope is expected to express his willingness to visit North Korea during talks with Moon, the spokesman only said, "We are also watching it."
Moon is expected to relay North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's invitation to the pope to visit the communist nation when he visits the Vatican. If realized, the proposed trip would mark the first-ever papal visit to the North.
Source: Yonhap News Agency