The president hopes that a second Trump-Kim summit will be
The Republic of Korea President Moon Jae-in on Thursday stressed
the need for "corresponding measures" by the United States to further
accelerate the denuclearization process, as he said a second US-DPRK summit is
Moon made the remarks at his first nationally televised news
conference this year held in the ROK's presidential Blue House.
He stressed that Washington "must consider corresponding
measures to further promote the denuclearization process" while Pyongyang
should also take more concrete and faster denuclearization steps if it wishes
to resolve the issue of international sanctions.
His remarks follow months of debates between the US and the
Democratic People's Republic of Korea over the sequences of denuclearization.
Pyongyang is said to be demanding "corresponding
measures" for the denuclearization steps it has taken so far, while
Washington said it needs to do more.
The ROK president said such a gap may stem from years of
distrust and hostility.
"I think both sides are aware. Pyongyang knows it needs to
take more concrete denuclearization steps in the end to remove international
sanctions, and Washington too sees the need for corresponding measures to
encourage Pyongyang's denuclearization," Moon said.
"However, they are asking the other side to act first
because they cannot trust each other. I believe that is why the second summit
has been delayed until now," he added.
Moon noted the second Trump-Kim summit will be imminent, saying
the DPRK top leader Kim Jong-un's trip to China this week has shown a positive
"I believe Chairman Kim's China visit is a sign that the
second summit is not far away. China has continued to play a positive role in
the process of inter-Korean dialogue, as well as US-DPRK talks," he said.
While there are concerns that the DPRK and the US might be
quarreling over what "complete denuclearization" should entail, Moon
said the DPRK top leader fully understands and agrees with the definition of
complete denuclearization used by Washington and the rest of the international
"Kim Jong-un has clearly stated to the leaders of each
country that he has met, including myself, that there is no difference between
the complete denuclearization he is talking about and the complete
denuclearization the international community demands," Moon said.
Moon also expressed hope for Kim to visit the ROK in the near
future, possibly following his second summit with the US president. Kim had
agreed to visit Seoul to reciprocate Moon's trip to Pyongyang in September for
their third bilateral summit.
In addition, Moon said his country will resume its economic
cooperation with the DPRK as soon as international sanctions are removed.
"As many of you have said, our economy is facing structural
difficulties and is no longer able to realize high growth rates like in the
past. I believe inter-Korean economic cooperation will provide a new growth
engine that revitalizes our economy," he said.
Moon was also asked about a court ruling on Wednesday. An ROK
court said it would freeze the local assets of a Japanese steel company
involved in a compensation dispute with wartime Korean laborers, leading to a
diplomatic spat between the two neighbors.
Japan called on Seoul's top diplomat to Tokyo on Wednesday to
file its complaint.
Moon expressed regrets over what he called an attempt by the
Japanese government to politicize historical issues between the two countries.
"The ROK government has repeatedly said we should address
those issues separately while making sure the countries' relations are not
damaged," the president said.