May 08, 2019 09:43
President Moon Jae-in and U.S. President Donald Trump spoke on the telephone on Tuesday night to discuss a response to North Korea's short-range missile launch last week.
The 35-minute phone call came three days after the North fired what is believed to be a Russian Iskander-class missile. Trump already discussed a response with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Monday.
Cheong Wa Dae said Moon and Trump agreed to strengthen bilateral cooperation to deal with the latest provocation. But they did not vow, as Trump and Abe had done, to push the North to achieve complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization.
Moon told Trump he does not believe the missile launch was a provocation and that the move should not be considered as grounds for breaking off dialogue. The two then talked about the North's food shortage and Trump told Moon it would be timely and positive to provide food aid on humanitarian grounds, according to Cheong Wa Dae.
A Cheong Wa Dae official said the phone call "focused on how to maintain the momentum of dialogue, while reaffirming the principle of abiding by UN Security Council resolutions."
Meanwhile, Abe held a press conference on Tuesday telling reporters what he discussed with Trump but pointedly failed to mention South Korea because relations between the two neighbors are at yet another historic ebb.
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