Moon, Trump reaffirm joint efforts to establish peace, denuclearize N. Korea

SEOUL, South Korean President Moon Jae-in and U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday reaffirmed their joint efforts to establish peace and denuclearize the Korean Peninsula.

The pledge for joint efforts came in a telephone conversation.

"The two leaders exchanged their honest views on the development of South-North Korean relations and conditions surrounding the Korean Peninsula, including the denuclearization negotiations between North Korea and the United States following the North Korea-U.S. summit on June 12 and the upcoming third South-North Korea summit, and agreed that South Korea and the U.S. will continue their close consultations and cooperation at various levels," Moon's presidential office Cheong Wa Dae said of the telephone conversation.

The call was made on the eve of a trip to Pyongyang by Moon's special envoy, Chung Eui-yong, head of the presidential National Security Office. The top security adviser to the South Korean president will be accompanied by four other high-level delegates, including the chief of the National Intelligence Service, Suh Hoon.

The South Korean delegates are widely expected to set a specific date for what would be Moon's third bilateral summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. The two first met on April 27 and again on May 26.

Moon explained the reasons for sending a special envoy and the need to hold a fresh round of inter-Korean summit talks.

"President Moon thoroughly explained that he planned to send a special delegation to North Korea to prepare for the South-North Korea summit and discuss ways to establish permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula through complete denuclearization," Cheong Wa Dae spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom said in a press release.

"President Moon stressed the fact that (they) are at a very important juncture in establishing peace on the Korean Peninsula and that such efforts will move together with complete denuclearization," he added.

Trump said he hoped the South Korean delegates would produce great results, and asked Moon to let him know of the outcome of their visit.

The North Korea trip by the South Korean officials also comes amid an apparent stalemate in denuclearization negotiations between the United States and North Korea.

Trump earlier called off a scheduled North Korea trip by his top diplomat, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, citing what he called a lack of progress in North Korea's denuclearization efforts.

Moon noted his upcoming summit with the North Korean leader may help remove the stumbling block in the U.S.-North Korea talks.

"Also, (Moon) insisted that an improvement in the South-North Korean relationship and reduced tension on the Korean Peninsula will contribute to complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and establishment of permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula," the Cheong Wa Dae spokesman said.

President Trump expressed hope for the success of Moon's upcoming summit with Kim.

"President Trump said he sincerely hoped for the success of the South-North Korea summit in September, not only for an improvement in the South-North Korean relationship but also the implementation of the June 12 U.S.-North Korea summit agreement and future dialogue," the spokesman said.

Trump met with Kim in Singapore for the first-ever U.S.-North Korea summit.

Moon and Trump also agreed to consider holding bilateral talks on the sidelines of the upcoming U.N. General Assembly in New York, which is slated to be held later in the month.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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