Moon, Trump to hold bilateral summit on N. Korea
NEW YORK, South Korean President Moon Jae-in and U.S. President Donald Trump were set to hold a bilateral summit Monday to discuss ways to break the impasse in their denuclearization negotiations with North Korea, possibly including a second U.S.-North Korea summit.
The Moon-Trump summit will be held later in the day, four days after Moon returned from a three-day trip to Pyongyang for his third bilateral summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
Moon arrived here Sunday on a four-day trip that will include attending the United Nations General Assembly.
The South Korean president is widely expected to try and have Trump commit to a second meeting with Kim.
In a joint declaration with Moon, the North Korean leader agreed to dismantle his country’s missile engine test facility and missile launch pads in Dongchang-ri and offered to further move down the path of denuclearization despite the current impasse in denuclearization talks with the U.S.
The U.S-North Korea talks stalled after Trump called off a scheduled North Korea trip by his top diplomat, Mike Pompeo, citing what he called a lack of progress in the North’s denuclearization process.
Dongchang-ri is said to be the test bed of the North’s long-range ballistic missiles capable of reaching the continental U.S.
“Chairman Kim expressed his wish to finish complete denuclearization at an early date and focus on economic development,” Moon said earlier.
Kim has also expressed hopes of holding a second U.S.-North Korea summit with Trump and said he continues to be committed to the complete denuclearization of his country, possibly before Trump’s first four-year term ends in January 2021, Moon has said.
The South Korean president said he also had an additional message from Kim that he will deliver directly to Trump.
Kim and Trump held their first-ever meeting in Singapore on June 12.
In his latest meeting with Moon, the North Korean leader also offered to dismantle his country’s key nuclear facilities in Yongbyon in exchange for corresponding measures from the U.S.
Moon said he will discuss with Trump what those measures could be when they meet this week on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly.
He says declaring a formal end to the Korean War may be a way to provide some security assurance to the North.
Noting that many fear a formal end to the 1950-53 war may weaken the reason for the U.S. to continue maintaining tens of thousands of U.S. troops in South Korea, Moon said it would be a political statement that has nothing to do with U.S. forces in Korea and that the North Korean leader shares such a view.
“A declaration of an end to the war will only be a political declaration that says we will end our hostile relations,” Moon said earlier.
Moon will also explain the outcome of his latest summit with the North Korean leader to the rest of the world when he delivers a keynote speech in a U.N. General Assembly meeting on Wednesday.
Moon is also scheduled to hold bilateral summits with his counterparts from Japan, Chile, Egypt and Spain before heading home on Wednesday.
Source: Yonhap News Agency