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Moon Jae-in ready for another North-South Korea summit with Kim Jong Un

South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un Photograph:( Reuters )

Agencia EFE Seoul, South Korea Apr 15, 2019, 04.02 PM (IST)

The South Korean president on Monday said now is the right time to call another summit with the leader of North Korea in the face of resuming the denuclearization dialogue.

It comes almost two months after the failed summit in Hanoi between the North's leader Kim Jong-un and the United States' President Donald Trump.

“Now that we have affirmed our respective commitments, the stage is set for an inter-Korean summit,” Moon Jae-in said in a meeting with his officials, according to the excerpts of the meeting published by the presidential office.

“As soon as the DPRK becomes ready, I hope the two Koreas will be able to sit down together, regardless of venue and form, and hold detailed and substantive talks on how to achieve further progress that goes beyond the previous two summits between Chairman Kim and President Trump,” he added.

Moon urged his officials to begin preparations for a new summit, which would be the fourth meeting between the two leaders of North and South Korea in the past year.

The three previous meetings between Seoul and Pyongyang and Moon’s role as a mediator have played a fundamental part in the two historic summits between the US and North Korea.

On Monday, Moon also reviewed his meeting last week with Trump, where the US leader was in favour of fresh inter-Korean talks and also open to a trilateral summit in the future.

The failure to reach an agreement at the Trump-Kim summit in Hanoi in February revolved around the number of North Korean nuclear assets to be dismantled against the volume of sanctions that the US would alleviate as a corresponding measure. 

Washington wanted the North to dismantle its missiles and chemical and biological weapons (in addition to nuclear weapons) programs before granting concessions, while Pyongyang called for the lifting of much of the sanctions in exchange for dismantling its Yongbyon nuclear facility, which the US considered insufficient. 

Since then, Washington and Pyongyang have been firm on their respective positions, although each has expressed their willingness to keep the dialogue open to work out their differences gradually, including a possibility of organizing a new Trump-Kim summit.

Story highlights

It comes almost two months after the failed summit in Hanoi between the North's leader Kim Jong-un and the United States' President Donald Trump.