Moon to talk with Trump at UN General Assembly in New York

Posted on : 2018-09-23 07:48 KST Modified on : 2019-10-19 20:29 KST
Expected to share results of Pyongyang summit and discuss ending Korean War
South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un take walk along a bridge over Samji Pond near Mount Baekdu. (photo pool)
South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un take walk along a bridge over Samji Pond near Mount Baekdu. (photo pool)

After returning from his three-day trip to North Korea, South Korean President Moon Jae-in will be heading to New York for five days from Sept. 23 to 27 to attend the 73rd UN General Assembly.

During his visit, it is expected that South Korea, North Korea and the US will hold a succession of summits focusing on the issues of the denuclearization of North Korea and the debate over a formal declaration of the end of the Korean War. Of particular interest will be whether or not Moon will be able to see his plan to declare an end to the war within the year become a reality.

“President Moon will share and access the results of the summit with President Trump at the UN General Assembly. They will also discuss in depth a method for practical cooperation that could lead to a breakthrough in dialogue between North Korea and the US about the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and about how to make virtuous progress in the relationship between North Korea and the US,” said Nam Gwan-pyo, second deputy director of the Blue House National Security Office, at a press briefing.

Talks with President Trump are scheduled for Sept. 24 (EST).

As soon as Moon returned to Seoul from Mount Baekdu on Sept. 20, he headed to the Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP) press center to report the results of the summit to the South Korean public regarding the background and significance of the September Pyongyang Declaration that he had jointly announced with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, a concrete plan to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula and end the threat of war.

He was especially careful to explain the mutually beneficial effects of an official declaration of the end of the war, which hinges on the North’s commitment to permanently shutting down the Yongbyong nuclear complex and a security guarantee of the North’s sovereignty .

“I believe this [inter-Korean] summit will go a long way in helping to create conditions in which North Korea and the US can resume a conversation,” Moon said. “We also have other issues to discuss that aren’t included in the text [of the Pyongyang Declaration],” he added. “If I have the opportunity to speak with President Trump, then I will pass on the details to the US.”

It seems that the agenda for these talks between South Korea the US will include the denuclearization of the peninsula and a declaration of the end of war between???? the North, the South and the US. Moon will once again convey Kim’s desire to denuclearize the peninsula. It also appears that Moon will do his best to increase the speed and breadth of dialogue between North Korea and the US, given the signs of revived interest following the observations he made at latest inter-Korean summit.

A high-ranking official from the Blue House told reporters, “At the UN assembly just one year ago, the US and North Korea were engaged in a war of words, and the situation on the peninsula was critical.” The official continued, “As President Moon said yesterday, he will be taking a top-down approach to produce drastic results. We are waiting to see if there will be any proactive measures taken from the top down on the US side.”

Regarding the issue of sanctions

Regarding sanctions on North Korea from the international community, the official said, “We can’t just impose sanctions for sanctions’ sake, but rather for the realization of denuclearization. We hope that concrete denuclearization measures can lead to positive developments regarding sanctions, which have posed an obstacle in inter-Korean relations.”

It appears that Moon may also feel out the possibility of relaxing sanctions against North Korea if the country takes tangible steps toward denuclearization when he meets with Trump.

The Blue House has also stated that Moon will be keeping a busy schedule during his time at the UN Assembly in New York. He will be giving a keynote address, holding bilateral talks with various heads of states, including Chile and Spain, and he will have a sit-down with the UN Secretary General. He will also be giving a policy address for experts and influencers on US international issues.

“During this visit, President Moon will be explaining the outcome of this third summit to the entire world, which has been watching with interest,” said Nam. “He will be increasing understanding among the international community in regard to our government’s vision, policies and efforts to bring about a new age of peace and prosperity on the peninsula, and he plans to widen the base of support,” Nam added.

By Kim Bo-hyeop, staff reporter

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