March 22, 2018 09:49
President Moon Jae-in on Wednesday suggested that a trilateral summit with U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is possible.
"A U.S.-North Korea summit following an inter-Korean summit is a historic event. Depending on how they develop, it may lead to a trilateral summit," Moon said in a preparatory meeting for the inter-Korean summit.
A key Cheong Wa Dae official said, "If the meetings between the leaders of South and North Korea and North Korea and the U.S. progress smoothly, all three leaders could meet and reach a practical agreement."
But Cheong Wa Dae said it has yet to propose the trilateral meeting to the U.S. and North Korea. Kim has made no definitive comments since a South Korean delegation led by national security adviser Chung Eui-yong visited Pyongyang, while the U.S. continues to question North Korea's willingness to scrap its nuclear weapons.
Moon is apparently hoping to formally end the Korean War, which was only halted by an armistice, should Trump and Kim reach a comprehensive agreement on denuclearization and establish formal diplomatic ties.
"The establishment of peace on the Korean Peninsula cannot be achieved by an agreement between the two Koreas. It requires a guarantee by the U.S,." Moon said. "In order for that to happen, U.S.-North Korea relations must normalize and there must be progress in economic cooperation between the two countries."
"We need to ensure that South and North Korea, whether they choose to live together or separately, do not meddle in each other's affairs and prosper without causing harm to each other," he added.
Cheong Wa Dae has proposed a meeting of high-ranking officials at Panmunjom on March 29 to prepare for the inter-Korean summit.
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