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S. Korea, US lawmakers meet ahead of 2nd Trump-Kim summit

A group of South Korean opposition lawmakers met Wednesday with a US senator handling Korea issues to discuss the upcoming summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

Rep. Na Kyung-won, floor leader of the main opposition Liberty Korea Party, led a delegation to a meeting with Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on East Asia and the Pacific.

Rep. Na Kyung-won (Yonhap)
Rep. Na Kyung-won (Yonhap)

The conservative party leader said she is hopeful for progress at the Trump-Kim summit scheduled to be held in Hanoi, Vietnam, Feb. 27-28.

"I hope that at this second summit (the two leaders) will take one step further to achieve more tangible denuclearization measures," she said.

The lawmaker also delivered her party's concerns that absent denuclearization the next summit should not lead to the withdrawal of US troops from South Korea, the reduction of military exercises between South Korea and the US, or the easing of sanctions against the regime.

"I think the relationship between Korea and the United States is as strong as it's ever been and growing stronger," said Gardner.

"We have opportunities to, I think, show the world what can be done when nations partner for peace, as long as we do so with the full commitment for complete, verifiable, irreversible denuclearization."

The first Trump-Kim summit in Singapore in June produced a commitment from North Korea to work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula in exchange for US security guarantees.

The next meeting is being planned amid expectations for more concrete steps, such as the closure of the North's main nuclear complex in Yongbyon and partial sanctions exemptions from the US or a declaration to formally end the 1950-53 Korean War. (Yonhap)