Moon hopes for substantial outcome in summit with Trump

Sep 16, 2019, 08:27 am

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US President Donald Trump talks with South Korean President Moon Jae-in at the border village of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone on June 30, 2019 after he met with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un./ Source: Yonhap News

By AsiaToday reporter Hong Sun-mi

South Korean President Moon Jae-in and U.S. President Donald Trump will hold summit talks next week amid hopes for a restart of stalled denuclearization talks.

As Pyongyang and Washington are expected to resume working-level denuclearization talks in the coming weeks, President Moon Jae-in’s full focus will be on maximizing the outcome of the summit with Trump. 

“There are so many things to prepare for the UN General Assembly. It will be a busy week focusing on them,” a key Cheong Wa Dae official said on Sunday. “Rather than addressing many issues, Moon will be following a planned schedule.”

This suggests that Moon’s New York visit will be focusing on holding a summit with Trump and promoting denuclearization talks between Washington and Pyongyang.

Moon will be visiting New York to attend the 74TH UN General Assembly session for five days from Sept. 22 until Sept. 26. During his stay, Moon will meet Trump. It will be their first face-to-face since late June in Seoul and their ninth to date.

Moon’s visit is said to have been decided in connection with the resumption of working-level denuclearization talks between Washington and Pyongyang. Previously, observers claimed that Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon would be present for this year’s UN General Assembly session since Moon has emphasized the need to operate a two-top system of summit diplomacy.

However, with a third possible summit between Trump and Kim being discussed with the possible resumption of working-level denuclearization talks, it seems that Moon has decided to go and take the role as a mediator between the United States and North Korea. 

As things have changed since the failed Hannoi summit between Washington and Pyongyang back in February, many observers say that more substantial results are expected for the upcoming Trump-Moon summit.

In particular, Trump’s removal of John Bolton, who is known for his hawkish approach toward Pyongyang, could provide favorable conditions for Trump and Moon to pursue high level coordination in North Korean policy.

“We were set back very badly when John Bolton talked about the Libyan model for Kim Jong-un,” Trump said. “That was not a good statement to make.” Trump’s remarks suggest that Washington will be more flexible in dealing with North Korea. 

Besides, as the North wants sanctions relief and a security guarantee in the process of taking the denuclearization measure, Moon is expected to consider ways to draw Washington’s forward-looking attitude as much as possible.

#Moon Jae-in #North Korea #Kim Jong-un #Trump #UN General Assembly 
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