South Korea's President Moon Jae-in addresses the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly, Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2019. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

The Latest: Moon calls for economic engagement with N. Korea

September 24, 2019 - 2:30 pm

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The Latest on the annual gathering of world leaders at the United Nations (all times local):

2 p.m.

South Korea's president is calling for economic engagement with rival North Korea in return for progress on nuclear disarmament.

Moon Jae-in, who favors reaching out to the North, also told leaders Tuesday at the U.N. General Assembly that his nation "will guarantee the security of North Korea. I hope North Korea will do the same for South Korea."

Moon says that mutual security assurances would then allow faster nuclear disarmament and peace on the Korean Peninsula, which is still technically in a state of war.

He called for an "international peace zone" between the divided Koreas with U.N. offices and other international groups stationed there.

Despite a string of summits between Moon and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, and between U.S. President Donald Trump and Kim, there's a lingering standoff on how to get the North to abandon its nuclear and missile program.

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12:20 p.m.

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi has used his speech at the U.N. General Assembly to amplify a call to get neighboring Sudan off the United States' list of countries deemed sponsors of terrorism.

El-Sissi told world leaders Tuesday that taking Sudan off the list would help the country tackle economic problems and reclaim what he called "the place it deserves among the international family."

Sudan has been on the U.S. list since 1993. Khartoum says getting off it is crucial to rebuilding the country after years of sanctions.

The Obama administration began a process to take Sudan off the list. The procedure was put on hold when mass protests erupted in December against longtime President Omar al-Bashir. The military ousted him in April.

New Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok recently said he'd discussed the issue with the Trump administration.

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12 p.m.

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan used his speech before world leaders at the United Nations to remind them of the humanitarian cost of Syria's civil war.

The world must "never forget" the world's "baby Aylans," Erdogan said as he held up the photo of Aylan Kurdi, the 3-year-old boy who died in 2015 while trying to reach Turkey's shores.

The image of the child's lifeless body prompted outrage and drew the world's attention to the plight of refugees.

Erdogan called for an end to the nearly nine-year-old civil war and said that many of the 3.6 million asylum seekers residing in Turkey are Syrian. The number of Syrian children born in Turkey has reached half-a-million.

He also used his speech to remind the world about the killing of Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi agents in Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul last year.

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11:30 a.m.

President Donald Trump's personal lawyer and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani told a crowd of several hundred protesters outside the United Nations that he supports regime change in Iran.

"I am speaking in my individual capacity. I am for regime change. Down with the tyrants in Iran. Down with the ayatollah and the mullahs and all the crooks," he told the crowd, referring to Iran's clerical leadership.

The rally on Tuesday, organized by the Organization of Iranian American Communities, took place a day before Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is set to deliver his remarks before the U.N. General Assembly.

It's one of several high-profile anti-Iranian government events taking place on the sidelines of the U.N. gathering this week.

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10:30

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro is dismissing what he says are media lies about fires in the Amazon and says the rain forest is not being devastated.

Bolsonaro told a gathering of world leaders at the United Nations Tuesday that many fires occur naturally in the forest during dry weather, though he did also acknowledge some are intentionally set.

Satellite data from the Brazilian Space Agency has shown a sharp increase in deforestation and forest fires in the past year. In August, the agency issued an alert that fires in the Amazon had increased 84% in the first seven months of this year, compared with the same period in 2018.

Reports of the fires drew widespread attention — and condemnation of the Bolsonaro administration's policies on the environment.

Bolsonaro said: "The Amazon is not being devastated nor is it being consumed by fire as the media misleadingly says."

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10:15

The U.N. General Assembly president is telling world leaders they must prioritize taking action "for poverty eradication, zero hunger, quality education, climate action and inclusion."

Tijjani Muhammad-Bande told the annual U.N. gathering on Tuesday that achieving the goals requires cooperation in financing and in sharing experience.

"Without doubt, the challenges posed by health pandemics, terrorism, displacement, climate change, as well as illiteracy and poverty will not be resolved by individual countries as they all require focused cooperation to stem," he said.

The former Nigerian ambassador said "poverty and food shortages around the world have been exacerbated by climate change," warning that the repercussions of not tackling climate change endangers the future of the world.

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9:16 a.m.

Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is warning global leaders of the looming risk of the world splitting in two with the two largest economies, the United States and China, creating rival internets, currencies, financial rules "and their own zero sum geopolitical and military strategies."

The U.N. chief said in his "state of the world address" Tuesday to the General Assembly's annual gathering of heads of state and government that the risk "may not yet be large, but it is real."

He said "we must do everything possible to avert the Great Fracture" and maintain a universal economy in a multipolar world.

Guterres painted a grim picture of a deeply divided and anxious planet facing a climate crisis, "the alarming possibility" of a Gulf conflict, spreading terrorism spreading and rising inequality.

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12:05

World leaders are convening at the annual U.N. General Assembly. They're grappling with climate change, regional conflicts and a potential dispute in the Middle East that could impact the entire planet.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will open the proceedings. He'll be followed immediately by the traditional first speaker — Brazil, represented by its new president, Jair Bolsonaro — and the United States, represented by President Donald Trump.

The United Nations was designed to promote a multilateral world. But it has struggled in the face of increasing unilateralism by nations that favor going it alone.

The event unfolds against the backdrop of flaring tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia. The Saudis say Iran was responsible for an attack earlier this month on two oil facilities, which Iran denies.

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The Iran protests item was amended to correct that the rally was organized by the Organization of Iranian American Communities.

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