Monday, 17 December, 2018

South Korea’s Moon: Trump wants to grant Kim Jong Un’s wishes

South Korean President Moon Jae-in speaks during a media conference in Auckland New Zealand North Korea subject of talks between Sth Korean President and PM Jacinda Ardern in Auckland
Pablo Mccormick | 06 December, 2018, 03:28

President Moon Jae-in is calling on South Korea and Japan to cleverly handle their uncomfortable history, ... and secure future-oriented relations that are not affected by what happened in the past.

Trump, who met Kim in Singapore in June, said on Saturday that he is likely to meet the North Korean leader for a second time in January or February, with three sites for their meeting under consideration.

While the North has repeatedly stressed these reciprocal measures should involve relief from worldwide sanctions, President Moon on Tuesday said he believed there were other ways for Washington to build trust.

"There is a possibility that Chairman Kim Jong Un's Seoul visit may be made within the year", Moon told a joint press conference with New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in Auckland, in comments carried by Yonhap News Agency. Moon spoke to reporters on Saturday aboard his presidential plane en route to New Zealand from Argentina, where he met Trump on the sidelines of a Group of 20 Nations summit.

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After sharply raising tensions with nuclear and missile tests past year, Kim abruptly reached out to Moon and Trump with a vague nuclear disarmament pledge.

Ban, a former South Korean foreign minister, said "this is the time" to achieve North Korea's denuclearisation after almost a quarter century of unsuccessful efforts, and that the North and the world should not lose this opportunity.

Trump said earlier in October that his meeting with Kim would be held after the midterm Congressional elections, and the venue of his second meeting with Kim had been narrowed down to "three or four" locations.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was due to meet with a top North Korean official in early November, but the meeting was abruptly put off, with North Korea insisting that Washington ease sanctions. Trump's announcement suggests that the United States still wants North Korea to demonstrate tangible efforts to denuclearize.

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He said he hopes to take a two-track approach with Tokyo on North Korea, . something he says Japanese government will agree on.

In his talks with Trump in Argentina, Moon earned some support for the Seoul summit from the U.S. leader - perhaps in a bid to entice Kim to make good on his pledge.

Trade is also likely to feature, following New Zealand and South Korea signing a free trade agreement in 2015.

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