U.S. President Donald Trump will travel to South Korea at the end of June, coinciding with his attendance at the G20 summit in neighboring Japan, the White House said Wednesday.
The visit will be the second time Trump has met with his South Korean counterpart Moon Jae-in since April, when the South Korean leader traveled to Washington.
It will also be his first visit to South Korea since November 2017.
“President Trump and President Moon will continue their close coordination on efforts to achieve the final, fully verified denuclearization of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea,” the White House said in a statement on Wednesday.
“The two leaders will also discuss ways to strengthen the United States–Republic of Korea alliance and the friendship between our two peoples.”
U.S. President Trump will also likely meet with numerous world leaders on the sidelines of the G20 summit, which will be held in Osaka and run for two days starting on June 28.
The meeting with Moon comes following two North Korean short-range missile tests and months of stalled talks on North Korea’s denuclearization.
Although Trump and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo both indicated Washington didn’t view North Korea’s launches as threatening, Pyongyang has reverted to strident language and criticism of its southern neighbor in its state-run media.
While the U.S. President originally said that “nobody” was happy with the DPRK’s recent missile tests, he later downplayed their significance.
“They’re short-range and I don’t consider that a breach of trust at all,” Trump told Politico on May 10.
“And, you know, at some point I may. But at this point no. These were short-range missiles and very standard stuff. Very standard.”
Washington also last week announced the seizure of a North Korean sanctions evading cargo ship, which although will have been in the works for many months, also drew reactionary criticism from the North.
Between them, the developments shed little light on how Pyongyang and Washington can work through their current diplomatic stalemate.
The announcement of Trump’s visit follows a report from Japanse media that acting U.S. Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan will also visit South Korea and Japan, though at the beginning of June.
Although the Pentagon chief’s visit has not been officially announced, Japanese media reported Shanahan would discuss bilateral defense cooperation and joint military exercises while in South Korea.
The acting defense secretary is also likely to meet with South Korean and Japanese counterparts at the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore which will run from May 31 to June 2.
Featured image: The Blue House