South Korean President Moon Jae-in says North Korean leader expressed interest in keeping U.S. summit on track for June 12
South Korean President Moon Jae-in said Sunday that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un had reaffirmed his commitment to “completely denuclearize the Korean Peninsula” and looked forward to meeting President Donald Trump on June 12, in the latest attempt by the two Korean leaders to keep recent engagement efforts on track.
The remarks by Mr. Moon came a day after the two Korean leaders met for an unannounced summit at the inter-Korean truce village of Panmunjom on Saturday, in the second meeting between the two men in as many months.
Mr. Moon said the North Korean leader reached out to him on Friday for talks, and that the two sides agreed to meet at Panmunjom in a surprise summit that Mr. Moon said on Sunday was “like a routine meeting between friends.”
The meeting, together with optimistic remarks from Mr. Trump on Saturday, marked a swift reversal from Thursday, when Mr. Trump wrote an open letter to Mr. Kim calling off plans for a meeting and instead reminded the North Korean leader of the power of the U.S. nuclear arsenal.
On Sunday, Mr. Moon said that he and Mr. Kim expected plans for a June 12 summit in Singapore between Messrs. Trump and Kim to be a success, and added that he hoped to later hold a trilateral meeting with the U.S. president and North Korean leader.
Mr. Moon said Mr. Kim had expressed concerns at their Saturday meeting about whether the U.S. “could be fully trusted to guarantee his regime’s survival” if North Korea were to give up its nuclear weapons.
“I conveyed President Trump’s message that the U.S. would guarantee his regime’s survival and provide economic aid if North Korea pursues complete denuclearization,” Mr. Moon said.
Asked by a reporter if Mr. Kim had agreed to the U.S.’s call for complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization, Mr. Moon said that the U.S. and North Korea needed to work together to come to an agreement on the nuclear issue.
“North Korea has pledged its intent to pursue complete denuclearization,” Mr. Moon said. “Both sides should try to diffuse misunderstandings by meeting face-to-face.”
Mr. Moon also said that the details of the meeting with Mr. Kim were “conveyed to the U.S.,” though he didn’t make clear whether the communication with Washington took place before or after the meeting.
A senior South Korean presidential adviser told reporters separately on Sunday that the two Koreas are also discussing a possible “nonaggression pact” between Pyongyang and Washington, in which the two sides would promise to refrain from taking unilateral military action against the other.
Saturday’s meeting—the fourth in history between leaders of the two Koreas—was the latest turn in a series of diplomatic maneuvers as the U.S. and South Korea seek to rein in North Korea’s nuclear ambitions.
It followed an April 27 summit between Messrs. Moon and Kim on the south side of the line dividing the inter-Korean truce village of Panmunjom, at which the two men signed a Panmunjom Declaration vowing an end to war and hostilities between the two sides.
Read complete story here: Kim Reaffirms Korean Denuclearization Push, Looks Forward to Trump Meeting, Moon Says – WSJ