Moon Says 'Time Is Ripe' for Another U.S.-N.Korea Summit

  • By Jeong Woo-sang

    June 27, 2019 09:40

    President Moon Jae-in on Tuesday claimed the "time is ripe" for a third U.S.-North Korea summit.

    "There has already been considerable headway made in the peace process on the Korean Peninsula, and it is still making steady progress," Moon told global wire services in a written interview. "The resumption of negotiations between North Korea and the United States will take it to the next level."

    "I believe everything has now fallen into place for that to happen," he added.

    President Moon Jae-in and his wife Kim Jung-sook wave as they arrive in Osaka, Japan on Thursday. /Yonhap

    But Moon denied proposing to resume inter-Korean economic cooperation if the North scraps its Yongbyon nuclear complex.

    "For the proper development and elevation of inter-Korean relations, various economic cooperation projects have to ensue," he said. "To this end, international economic sanctions must be lifted, and there has to be substantive progress in North Korea's denuclearization before sanctions can be removed."

    But he added that at least the prospect of cross-border projects needs to be on the table.

    "Inter-Korean economic cooperation projects, such as the resumption of operations at the Kaesong Industrial Complex, are appealing to both Koreas and the United States as well in that they could help reduce the burden of the international community... and present a look ahead to the kind of bright future that could greet the North should it complete denuclearization."

    The president said he remains willing to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong-un-at any time. "As I explained before on several occasions, my determination remains the same that I am prepared to meet with Chairman Kim in person at any given moment without being restrained by time, place or formalities," he said.

    Moon leaves for the G20 Summit in Osaka on Thursday and will sit down on the sidelines with Chinese President Xi Jinping. He will also hold separate meetings with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Indonesian President Joko Widodo, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

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