Moon, Trump to hold summit before U.S.-North Korea talks

Moon, Trump to hold summit before U.S.-North Korea talks

SEOUL, April 25 (UPI) — South Korean President Moon Jae-in will meet President Donald Trump in mid-May, before the U.S. leader holds a historic summit with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.

Seoul’s presidential office said Wednesday that National Security Adviser Chung Eui-yong and his U.S. counterpart John Bolton agreed the summit would take place, during their hour-long meeting in Washington, the Hankyoreh reported.

On Tuesday, the two officials discussed preparations for the inter-Korean summit and ways to strengthen joint efforts to denuclearize the North. They, also, agreed that Moon and Trump would hold a phone conversation to discuss the results of the inter-Korean meeting, shortly after it ends on Friday.

Two days ahead of the cross-border meeting, Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha reaffirmed that talks between President Moon Jae-in and Kim Jong Un will focus on denuclearization, and it will be a chance for the North to verify its commitment to dismantling its nukes.

She stressed that denuclearization of North Korea and establishing peace on the Korean Peninsula are two sides of the same coin, with the former being a “prerequisite” for sustainable peace.

Kang added that the establishment of a “peace system” between the two Koreas, could enable the prevention of military clashes and easing of tensions as well as economic cooperation.

The minister said she expects the two sides will discuss such issues as well as further cross-border exchanges and humanitarian issues at the summit, Yonhap reported.

On the possibility of Seoul and Washington failing to see eye-to-eye with Pyongyang, Kang said there would be “much to agree on” as North Korean leader understands that his country cannot be achieve his goal of economic advancement, under the status quo of sanctions and pressure imposed on the North.