S.Korean president says to push for summit with DPRK leader
South Korean President Moon Jae-in said Monday that he will actively push for another summit meeting with Kim Jong Un, top leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), to help resume dialogue between the DPRK and the United States.
In this April 27, 2018, file photo, Kim Jong Un (L), top leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), poses with South Korean President Moon Jae-in for a photo inside the Peace House at the border village of Panmunjom in Demilitarized Zone, South Korea. [File photo: Korea Summit Press Pool via AP]
"Now, it's time to actively prepare and push for South-North summit," Moon told a regular meeting with his senior secretaries, referring to the fourth summit between South Korea and the DPRK. The leaders of the two Koreas held summit talks three times last year.
Moon said he hoped to make concrete and effective discussions with Kim "in any place and formality at the North Korea (DPRK)'s convenience" about ways to bear advanced fruits going beyond the past two DPRK-U.S. summits.
The comment came after Moon visited Washington last week for summit talks with U.S. President Donald Trump.
Moon said his Washington meeting with Trump was aimed to remove uncertainties, raised after the second summit between Kim and Trump, and restore the momentum of dialogue between the DPRK and the United States for the unwavering push for the peace process on the Korean Peninsula.
The second Kim-Trump summit ended with no agreement in late February in the Vietnamese capital of Hanoi. After the Hanoi summit, Moon vowed to help resume dialogue between Pyongyang and Washington.
After the meeting with Moon, Trump said in Washington that "smaller deals" could happen "step by step" between the DPRK and the United States, though his country and South Korea were focusing on "the big deal."
"The big deal is we have to get rid of the nuclear weapons," Trump explained.
The DPRK leader said in his policy speech marking the First Session of the 14th Supreme People's Assembly (SPA) on Friday that he was willing to hold one more summit with Trump "if the United States adopts a correct posture and comes to the third DPRK-U.S. summit with a certain methodology that can be shared."
Kim noted that he would wait for a "bold decision" from Trump "with patience" by the end of this year, saying both Pyongyang and Washington should try to find out a "constructive solution to meet each other's interests."
In response, Trump tweeted Saturday that a third summit with Kim "would be good in that we fully understand where we each stand."
Moon said South Korea and the United States reaffirmed the common goals of achieving complete denuclearization and building permanent peace on the peninsula through a diplomatic solution and also agreed to work together to resume the dialogue between Pyongyang and Washington in the near future.
The South Korean leader noted that Trump recognized the need for an inter-Korean summit and the possibility for a trilateral summit among the three leaders of South Korea, the DPRK and the United States though it was subject to the DPRK leader's determination.
Regarding the DPRK leader, Moon said Kim was re-elected as chairman of the State Affairs Commission at the SPA and declared his firm commitment towards achieving denuclearization and building peace on the Korean Peninsula.
Moon welcomed and expressed high regard for Kim's policy speech in which the DPRK leader showed his willingness to resume the DPRK-U.S. dialogue and hold a third DPRK-U.S. summit.
Conditions were met for Moon and Kim to hold another summit as the DPRK leader showed his willingness to keep the dialogue momentum, the South Korean president noted.
Moon said he would spare no effort to ensure that the upcoming inter-Korean summit would be a stepping stone for an even bigger opportunity and a more significant outcome in the peninsula's peace process.
He added that his country would fully carry out the duty of building peace on the peninsula, which includes creating a virtuous cycle between inter-Korean and DPRK-U.S. relations and strengthening the international society's support and cooperation.
Earlier on Wednesday, Wu Haitao, China's deputy permanent representative to the United Nations, said for dialogue to continue and make headway, the key is to address the legitimate concerns of the parties concerned in a balanced manner, and advance denuclearization and the establishment of a peace mechanism for the peninsula by following a phased approach with synchronized steps as a package solution.