April 10, 2019 09:46
President Moon Jae-in wants to invite U.S. President Donald Trump to South Korea in May or June of this year. Asked whether Trump could visit Seoul in the next few months, a senior Cheong Wa Dae official said, "That will be discussed" when Moon and Trump meet in Washington this week.
Cheong Wa Dae is pushing for an inter-Korean summit around April 27, which marks the first anniversary of his first meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
Moon apparently wants to use all these occasions to broker another North-Korea-U.S. summit. A Cheong Wa Dae official said, "We believe there is a role for us to play."
Moon wants to persuade Trump of the merits of a phased deal with North Korea, which is what Pyongyang has been proposing, whereby the North would first scrap its Yongbyon nuclear reprocessing plant followed by a partial lifting of sanctions.
The prospects do not look bright for Moon's plans. The U.S. is increasingly adamant that it must be a comprehensive deal and no sanctions can be lifted until the North takes verifiable steps toward full denuclearization, while North Korea seems to be losing interest in the South.
Moon leaves for Washington this afternoon.
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