South Korean President Moon Jae-in met with two key U.S. officials to discuss and offer his support for the upcoming U.S.-North Korea summit prior to his scheduled bilateral meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday.
The meeting included U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Advisor John Bolton in Washington D.C., according to a South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency – citing a ROK Presidential office press release.
“President Moon praised the U.S. security and foreign relations teams that are preparing for next month’s North Korea-U.S. summit and asked them to step up their efforts to make sure the upcoming North Korea-U.S. summit will be held successfully,” the press release read, according to Yonhap.
“President Moon especially asked them to continue consulting with North Korea for the success of the North Korea-U.S. summit, and highlighted the fact that our government too will do its utmost to help successfully hold the upcoming North Korea-U.S. summit,” the report added.
Moon is set to meet Trump later in the day to discuss the same topic during a two-day visit to the U.S., which comes in the lead up to the much anticipated Trump-Kim Jong Un summit scheduled to take place in Singapore on June 12.
Following rapid and expansive diplomatic overtures from North Korea since the beginning of 2018, Kim has held two summits with Chinese President Xi Jinping in March and May and one with President Moon in April.
While the road to those summits appeared relatively smooth, in recent weeks, the tone has taken a negative turn with North Korea expressing anger at what it perceives to be serious issues via statements from officials and state media.
Such issues include joint U.S.-ROK military drills, Bolton’s references to a “Libya deal” approach to North Korean denuclearization, ongoing defector issues and U.S. messaging that North Korea will have to submit to complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization.
The DPRK has threatened to cancel the Trump-Kim summit on more than one occasion over the past fortnight and previously canceled a scheduled meeting with ROK officials originally planned for May 12.
After canceling the scheduled inter-Korean meeting on May 16, the DPRK also said that no inter-Korean meetings will take place until Seoul rectifies ongoing North Korean grievances with its South Korean counterparts, a senior DPRK official warned on Thursday.
Despite these warnings, Trump said that North Korea would likely face “decimation” if it didn’t agree to denuclearize – again a reference to Libya – which was reiterated on Monday by U.S. Vice President Mike Pence.
Trump and Moon are set to meet at around noon EDT on Tuesday to discuss the summit in more detail.
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Featured Image: President_Moon_Jae-in_Press_Conference_02 by KOREA.NET - Official page of the Republic of Korea on 2017-05-10 14:51:53