South Korea will “do its best” to help facilitate a fourth meeting between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump before U.S. Presidential elections in November, the country’s President was reported to have said on Wednesday.
In comments delivered at an ROK-EU video summit on Tuesday, Moon emphasized both the European Union and South Korea’s role in supporting dialogue between Washington and Pyongyang.
“What South Korea hopes is that… efforts for dialogue between the North and the U.S. should be pushed forward once more before the U.S. Presidential election,” Moon said, in a read-out provided by an official from the Presidential Blue House on Wednesday.
“I think the EU can play a big role,” the South Korean President continued. “South Korea, as well, plans to do its best to make it possible for the North and the U.S. to sit face-to-face again before the U.S. Presidential election.”
Speaking to reporters at a background briefing Wednesday, the Blue House officials clarified that “face-to-face” meeting referred to a summit between Trump and Kim.
“It is my firm will that the hard-earned progress and achievements in inter-Korean relations cannot be backtracked,” Moon reportedly added. “I will be patient and make efforts to sustain the momentum of dialogue between South Korea, North Korea, and the U.S.”
Whether the idea has been conveyed to Pyongyang — or if the U.S. President himself supports another summit before election — remains unclear.
Asked to clarify if Moon’s remarks on another summit had been coordinated in advance with either Washington or Pyongyang, the Blue House official at the background briefing Wednesday said that Seoul prioritized close communication with the U.S.
The South Korean President’s hopes for another Trump-Kim summit, they said, “has been delivered to the U.S. side, the U.S. is empathizing with it, and we understand that [the U.S.] is making efforts.”
They declined to say whether the North has been consulted.
Moon’s optimism follows contrasting remarks by U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun on Tuesday, in which he said that while the door remained open for diplomacy with North Korea, another summit before November was “unlikely.”
Reports this week suggested that Biegun may visit South Korea in the coming days or weeks.
The Blue House on Wednesday, however, stressed that the visit has yet to be formally confirmed.
Edited by Oliver Hotham
South Korea will "do its best" to help facilitate a fourth meeting between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump before U.S. Presidential elections in November, the country's President was reported to have said on Wednesday.
In comments delivered at an ROK-EU video summit on Tuesday, Moon emphasized both the European Union and South Korea's role in supporting dialogue between Washington and Pyongyang.