NEW YORK -- South Korean President Moon Jae-in arrived in New York on Sunday for a bilateral summit with US President Donald Trump that is partly aimed at brokering a second US-North Korea summit.
The Moon-Trump summit is set to be held Monday, four days after the South Korean president returned home from a three-day trip to North Korea for talks with leader Kim Jong-un.
Moon has said the North Korean leader hopes to hold a second US-North Korea summit with Trump in the near future, and that he remains committed to complete denuclearization of his country, possibly before Trump’s first four-year term ends in January 2021.
“Chairman Kim expressed his wish to finish complete denuclearization at an early date and focus on economic development,” Moon said of his meeting with the North Korean leader in Pyongyang.
Kim and Trump met in Singapore on June 12, marking the first-ever US-North Korea summit in history.
While heading for a meeting with Moon and the leaders from 29 other countries at the United Nations headqurters Monday, the US president said his second summit with the North Korean leader may take place “quite soon,” the Associated Press reported.
Shortly after Moon’s North Korea trip, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he has invited his North Korean counterpart to New York for talks.
Denuclearization talks between the US and North Korea had stalled since Trump called off Pompeo’s scheduled visit to Pyongyang in July, citing what he called a lack of progress in the North Korean denuclearization process.
While meeting with Moon, the North Korean leader offered to dismantle his country’s missile engine test facility and missile launch pads in Dongchang-ri, known to be the testbed for long-range ballistic missiles capable of reaching the continental US.
Kim has also offered to dismantle the country’s key nuclear facilities in Yongbyon in exchange for corresponding measures from the US.
Moon said he will discuss with Trump what their corresponding measures could be when they meet on the sidelines of the UN.
General Assembly in New York this week, adding that declaring a formal end to the Korean War may be a way to provide some security assurance to the North.
Noting that many fear a formal end to the 1950-53 war may weaken the reason for the US to continue maintaining tens of thousands of US troops in South Korea, Moon said it would only be a political declaration that has nothing to do with US forces in Korea, and that the North Korean leader shared such a view.
“A declaration of an end to the war is a political declaration that says we will end our hostile relations,” Moon said earlier.
Moon’s trip to New York is also aimed at explaining the outcome of his third bilateral summit with Kim to the world.
He will deliver a keynote speech in a UN meeting on Wednesday.
Moon is also scheduled to hold bilateral summits with his counterparts from Chile and Spain before heading home on Wednesday (New York time). (Yonhap)