Wednesday, 19 December, 2018

S. Korea’s Moon still hopes to host Kim this year

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
Melinda Barton | 06 December, 2018, 03:34

President Donald Trump has said he will likely hold a second summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un early in the New Year and that three locations were being considered.

Kim's father and late leader, Kim Jong-il, saw his birthday designated as a national holiday in 1982 when he was 40, two years after he was anointed as successor to his father and national founder Kim Il-sung.

"This will be the first time that a North Korean leader will visit South Korea so, although there is no time frame set for that, still that's very meaningful", he continued, adding that a Seoul summit would help improve relations between the US and North Korea.

North Korea has sought security guarantees from the USA and relief from global sanctions. "We can improve South and North Korean relations as well as attain permanent peace on the Korean peninsula and denuclearisation".

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un could still visit Seoul for the first time in the next few weeks, South Korean President Moon Jae-in said today, describing the possible trip as a major boost in efforts to make the peninsula nuclear-free.

'The message is that president Trump has very favourable views toward Chairman Kim and he likes him, ' Moon told reporters aboard a flight from Argentina to New Zealand, where he started a three-day state visit on Sunday.

"I think it will be absolutely imperative in this next summit that we come away with a plan for identifying all of the weapons in question, identifying all the development sites, allowing for inspections of the sites and the plan for dismantling nuclear weapons", Pence said in an interview with NBC.

President Moon Jae-in met with New Zealand's main opposition leader on Monday during his state visit to the country and discussed ways to advance bilateral cooperation.

Mr Moon said that he would carry a warm message from Mr Trump to Mr Kim, who may visit Seoul as early as this month.

After their third meeting in North Korea's capital, Pyongyang, in September, Moon said Kim agreed to make a reciprocal visit to Seoul in 2018. Trump's announcement suggests that the United States still wants North Korea to demonstrate tangible efforts to denuclearize.

Moon said a second summit between Kim and Trump will prove to be the "most critical moment" for North Korea's denuclearisation. But both Moon and Trump say fears of war on the Korean Peninsula have eased sharply.