Minister does not rule out Moon, Trump, Kim summit at UN Assembly in Sept.

LONDON/SEOUL, July 19 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha has not ruled out the possibility of a summit among the leaders of the two Koreas and the United States on the margins of the U.N. General Assembly slated for September.

She made the remarks during her first visit to London since her inauguration in June last year for talks with top British officials.

"It is difficult to forejudge that, but we cannot rule out (the possible trilateral summit)," she told reporters Wednesday.

Ahead of the U.N. General Assembly in New York, there has been talk of the possible three-way summit as North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has been cranking up diplomacy with the outside world apparently to get sanctions relief and ease international isolation.

Asked about the possibility that a formal end to the 1950-53 Korean War could be declared during the U.N. gathering this fall, Kang noted the April 27 summit agreement between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Kim to seek such a declaration within this year.

"(We) will make diplomatic efforts, but it is difficult to predict when," she said.

In Seoul, ministry officials indicated that they are looking first at foreign ministerial consultations.

The top diplomats of the two Koreas plan to attend the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) in Singapore early next month, according to the ministry's spokesman Noh Kyu-duk.

"If South-North foreign ministerial talks take place on the occasion of the ARF, it's expected to serve as a chance to exchange productive and constructive opinions for the implementation of the Panmunjom Declaration and the joint statement of the North Korea-U.S. summit," he said at a press briefing, responding to a question about Kang's remarks in London.

But there's no related fixed schedule yet, and there's nothing to add to what Kang said in connection with the issue, he added

Touching on U.S. President Donald Trump's recent remarks that there is "no rush" regarding denuclearization negotiations with the North, the foreign minister said that the denuclearization process may take some time.

"The complete denuclearization is the unflappable, shared goal (of the South and the U.S.) and of the international community," she said. "Even if this takes time, (we) have to definitely achieve (that goal)."

Critics construed Trump's remarks as a potential retreat from his earlier position centered on a swift, stringent denuclearization, while some observers argued that the tough reality for the nuclear disarmament process might have started to sink in for the American president.

During the press meeting, Kang was also asked to comment on the criticism that the issue of North Korea's human rights abuses has been overshadowed by the denuclearization push.

"It is a matter of our judgment whether to include the (human rights issue) in the official agenda for talks aimed at fostering peace beyond (just the issue of) denuclearization,"

"After we make achievements on the denuclearization front and have dialogue with the North as part of our routines, conditions may be forged to bring about other changes," she added.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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