SEOUL/BEIJING. — South Korean President Moon Jae-in will travel to North Korea from September 18 to 20 for a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, Moon’s special envoy said yesterday, one day after his trip to the communist state.
“First, the South and the North agreed to hold a South-North Korean summit in Pyongyang between September 18-20, and to hold high-level negotiations early next week to prepare for the summit,” Chung Eui-yong said of his one-day trip to the North Korean capital.
Chung, head of the presidential National Security Office, led a five-member delegation to Pyongyang that also included the director of the National Intelligence Service, Suh Hoon.
It will be the third Moon-Kim summit.
They first met in the border village of Panmunjom on April 27, then again on May 26.
Chung said the upcoming summit will review the implementation of the inter-Korean summit agreement reached at the leaders’ first meeting in Panmunjom.
“The countries agreed to review the implementation of the Panmunjom Declaration and discuss the future direction of its implementation, and to discuss practical ways to establish lasting peace and ensure joint prosperity on the Korean Peninsula, especially denuclearize the Korean Peninsula,” he told a nationally televised Press conference.
The North Korean leader reaffirmed his commitment to denuclearisation, also promising to continue working with the United States to that end.
“Chairman Kim Jong-un reaffirmed his firm commitment to complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula, and expressed his willingness to closely cooperate with not only South Korea, but also the United States to that end,” the top security adviser to the South Korean president said.
Wednesday’s trip by the South Korean delegation was largely aimed at setting the date for the third Moon-Kim summit, but it was also expected to focus on removing a stumbling block in denuclearisation talks between the United States and North Korea.
The talks have apparently stalled after US President Donald Trump called off a scheduled North Korea trip by his top diplomat, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, citing what he called a lack of progress in the North’s denuclearisation process.
Kim disagreed with that assessment, saying the denuclearisation steps taken by his country so far are very significant and meaningful, according to Chung.
Kim noted the dismantlement of his country’s only known nuclear test site in Punggye-ri has left the country with no means to stage any more nuclear tests.
He even expressed regret that the international community does not appreciate such meaningful steps taken by his country, the South Korean envoy said.
The North Korean leader asked the envoy to deliver his message to the United States, Chung said, refusing to discuss any specifics of the message.
Still, the South Korean envoy quoted the North Korean leader as saying he hoped to completely denuclearise and end the hostile relationship between his country and the US before Trump’s first term ends in January 2021.— Yonhap News/HR.