Moon hopes for early summit with N Korean leader

14-Jun-2019 Intellasia | KoreaTimes | 6:00 AM Print This Post

A senior presidential aide said Thursday that discussions are underway with officials from Pyongyang regarding another inter-Korean summit, before US President Donald Trump’s planned meeting with President Moon Jae-in, June 30.

“It’s evident that the US president didn’t rule out the possibility of another meeting between President Moon and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un ahead of his planned visit here at the end of June. President Moon earlier raised this idea at his April summit with Trump in Washington. South Korea and the US are united on that idea,” the official told reporters in a briefing.

“My understanding is that the US president didn’t say anything on the usefulness and necessity of another inter-Korean summit,” the senior aide said, adding announcements will be made once the discussions are completed.

Moon renewed his call late Wednesday (KST) for a fourth summit with Kim Jong-un ahead of his meeting with Trump.

“It is desirable to meet with Kim before Trump’s upcoming trip to Seoul late June,” Moon said during the Oslo Forum in the Norwegian capital, on the first anniversary of the historic meeting between Trump and Kim in Singapore. “I am ready to meet with Kim, but it is his choice whether to hold the meeting.”

Amid an impasse in denuclearisation talks between Washington and Pyongyang since the failure of their summit in Hanoi, the President has been going all-out to bring Kim back to the dialogue table. In mid-April, he sent a similar message to North Korea, but Pyongyang did not respond.

To resolve the ongoing deadlock in nuclear talks, Moon underlined the need for Trump and Kim to meet each other “at the earliest possible” opportunity.

“Even if the dialogue momentum between the two remains ongoing, their passion for the talks could fade if the gap between their meetings for talks becomes extended,” Moon said.

The President said he has continued to urge Trump and Kim to meet again to resolve the stalemated nuclear talks.

Moon remains optimistic for the resumption of the talks, as both the US President and North Korean leader have continued to express their “unwavering” willingness for this in their letter exchanges.

“Even when both sides do not engage in official negotiations, they are exchanging warm letters through which they express trust in each other and their willingness for dialogue,” Moon said at the forum.

Hours before President Moon’s speech, Trump said his personal relationship with Kim was still good and hinted at holding a third summit while praising the latter’s leadership.

Meanwhile, at the same time that North Korea is calling for sanctions relief from the international community, reports have noted that the United States and 25 other countries are accusing the North of already violating these by importing far more than its annual limit of 500,000 barrels of refined petroleum products.

The United Nations Security Council committee said most of the petroleum products were “obtained from dozens of illegal ship-to-ship transfers.”

Cheong Wa Dae and the US State Department said the main discussion point for Trump and Moon would be how to completely and verifiably resolve the North Korea nuclear crisis.

A recent report released by the Research centre for Nuclear Weapons Abolition at Nagasaki University in Japan predicted that North Korea has as many as 30 nuclear warheads, up from a previous estimate of between 10 and 20.

Kim earlier promised to dismantle all of his country’s missile facilities and disband its nuclear programme in the presence of international inspectors led by the International Atomic Energy Agency, the United Nations nuclear watchdog.

In Hanoi, he offered to close the North’s major Yongbyon nuclear complex in exchange for concessions on sanctions; however Trump refused to agree to this.


Category: Korea

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