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View more articles by Dagyum Ji and Oliver Hotham
Dagyum Ji and Oliver Hotham
Dagyum Ji is an NK News correspondent based in Seoul. Oliver Hotham is Managing Editor of NK News.
The two Koreas and the United States could hold a trilateral summit following upcoming DPRK-U.S. and DPRK-ROK talks, South Korean President Moon Jae-in said on Wednesday.
Speaking at the second meeting of the preparatory committee for his planned summit next month with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, President Moon said any tripartite talks would require significant progress to be made.
“It… has a very significant meaning that the South-North Korea summit will be held within one year of the presidential inauguration,” Moon said.
“Holding the North-U.S summit following the inter-Korean summit itself is an event of world history,” he continued, adding that the Kim-Trump meeting would be “more dramatic depending on the location.”
“And depending on the progress, it could lead to a trilateral summit between the South, the North and the U.S.,” he added. “Even though it is an untrodden path we have never walked through… we seek to achieve it through an agreement between the leaders from the South, the North, and the U.S.”
This, Moon said, would involve agreements on denuclearization of the peninsula, “a permanent peace system,” the normalization of relations between the U.S. and Pyongyang, and the improvement of inter-Korean relations.
It could also include “economic cooperation between the North and the U.S., or the North, U.S. and South Korea,” he added.
The two Koreas agreed to a historic third summit earlier in the month, during a visit by a delegation of high-level South Korean officials to Pyongyang at which Kim Jong Un also reportedly expressed a willingness to denuclearize in exchange for security guarantees.
The meeting between Kim Jong Un and Moon Jae-in – the third meeting between DPRK and ROK leaders in history – is scheduled to take place in late April at the Peace House on the southern part of Panmunjom.
The inter-Korean summit will be followed by a meeting between Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump, announced earlier in the month by ROK officials.
The two leaders are scheduled to meet “by May,” though the location of the talks is yet to be decided.
North Korea is also yet to make any public statements on the plans, though state media has noted the country’s improving relations with the U.S.
Speaking on Wednesday, President Moon said the meetings would seek to “completely resolve the issue of denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula and establishing peace.”
“We should encourage the South and the North to prosper together and live peacefully and without interfering with each other,” the President said.
During an off-camera briefing last week, Seoul’s presidential chief of staff Im Jong-seok – who heads the summit preparatory committee – said South Korea hoped to hold a U.S.-ROK summit ahead of the Kim-Trump meeting.
The Blue House on Wednesday also said it was “closely cooperating” with Japan and China to organize a summit between the three countries in the coming months – the first of its kind since 2015.
Featured image: Blue House