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Moon ramps up cooperation with US, Japanese leaders in inter-Korean summit follow up

President Moon Jae-in is stepping up efforts for US and Japan collaborations on North Korean issues, in the follow up to his summit meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

According to Cheong Wa Dae, Moon spoke with US President Donald Trump late Saturday, and with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Sunday. 

President Moon Jae-in (left), US President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Cheong Wa Dae
President Moon Jae-in (left), US President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Cheong Wa Dae

In the Moon-Trump conversation, which lasted from 9:15 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. (Korea time), the two leaders agreed to continue close collaboration, and to arrange the US-North Korea summit as early as possible.

“President Trump said that the Panmunjeom Declaration confirming the goal of complete denuclearization was welcome news not just for the two Koreas but for the world,” Cheong Wa Dae spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom said.

“The two presidents agreed to continue working closely together to facilitate an agreement to be reached on detailed plans for realizing complete denuclearization.”

Kim Eui-kyeom added that the two leaders agreed that the US-North Korea summit should be held early as possible to maintain the momentum of the successful inter-Korean summit.

“Regarding the location, it was narrowed down to two or three candidates and (Moon and Trump) discussed the pros and cons of each location.”

The Cheong Wa Dae spokesman added that Trump expressed anticipation for his meeting with Kim Jong-un, and that he expects “very good results” from the meeting.

In a separate development Trump, who described the situation as “going very well” in an earlier Twitter post, said that he could meet Kim Jong-un in three to four weeks.

“It‘s going to be a very important meeting, the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula,” Trump was quoted as saying by foreign media at a campaign rally in Michigan.

As for the conversation with Abe, Kim Eui-kyeom said that Moon and the Japanese leader discussed outstanding issues in inter-Korean and Japan-North Korea relations.

“President Moon told Prime Minister Abe that he informed Kim Jong-un that Abe is open to dialogue with North Korea, and hopes for normalization of relations,” Kim Eui-kyeom said, adding that Kim Jong-un’s willingness to hold talks with Japan was also conveyed by the South Korean leader.

Ahead of the Cheong Wa Dae briefing, Abe had told Japanese media that Moon raised the issue of North Korea’s abduction of Japanese people, and Tokyo-Pyongyang relations.

Following the conversation with Moon, Abe met with Seoul’s National Intelligence Service Director Suh Hoon in Tokyo.

At the meeting, Suh is said to have provided a detailed account of the inter-Korean summit, and reaffirmed Japan’s commitment to a peaceful resolution of North Korean nuclear issues.

By Choi He-suk (