News ID: 218216
Published: 0150 GMT July 13, 2018

Moon presses Trump, Kim for breakthrough in nuclear talks

Moon presses Trump, Kim for breakthrough in nuclear talks
AP

South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Friday urged US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to try harder to achieve a breakthrough in their nuclear negotiations.

Moon said at a forum in Singapore that Trump and Kim would “face the stern judgment of the international community” if their promises on denuclearization weren’t kept, AP reported.

Singapore was the host of a summit between Trump and Kim last month when they agreed to work toward the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, without describing when and how it would occur.

Follow-up talks between US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and North Korean senior officials have got off to a rocky start with Pyongyang accusing Washington of making “unilateral and gangster-like” demands.

Pyongyang for decades has been pushing a concept of “denuclearization” that bears no resemblance to the American definition, vowing to pursue nuclear development unless Washington removes its 28,500 troops from South Korea and the nuclear umbrella defending South Korea and Japan.

The North Korean leader has asked Chinese President Xi Jinping during a meeting in Beijing in June to work towards bringing an early end to economic sanctions imposed on his country, Japan’s Yomiuri newspaper reported early this month.

Kim told Xi that he wanted China’s help to end the sanctions because it successfully concluded a summit between the United States and North Korea on June 12, the Yomiuri reported, citing unnamed sources close to the matter.

Moon, who has met with Kim twice this year and lobbied hard for the summit between Trump and Kim, said he remains optimistic that Washington and Pyongyang would be able to strike a deal.

“Both leaders have made a promise in front of the international community, so while there could be twists and turns during the working-level negotiations, I think the leaders ultimately will be able to keep their promise,” Moon said. “If the leaders don’t keep the promise they directly made in front of the international community, they would face the stern judgment of the international community.”

Moon said his view is that Washington and Pyongyang have reached a broad agreement where North Korea completes its nuclear disarmament in exchange for the United States guaranteeing the country’s security and ending hostility in mutual relations.

“During the working-level negotiations, there could be debates on whether the chicken or egg should come first, and the countries could also go through a number of difficult phases,” Moon said.

 

   
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