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Moon expresses regret over cancellation of US-NK summit

S. Korean president calls for direct talks between the two leaders to resolve standoff

President Moon Jae-in on Friday morning expressed regret over the cancellation of a scheduled summit between the US and North Korea, calling for the two countries’ leaders to communicate directly to rekindle the momentum for denuclearization talks.

“I am very perplexed and regretful that the North Korea-US summit will not be held,” presidential spokesperson Yoon Young-chan quoted Moon as saying during an emergency meeting convened after US President Donald Trump called off his meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

“It may be difficult to resolve the sensitive and difficult diplomatic issues through such methods of communication currently being employed. … I hope (the countries) will resolve such issues through more direct and close dialogue between their leaders,” Moon was quoted as saying.


(Yonhap)
(Yonhap)

Trump on Thursday scrapped his plans for the meeting with Kim scheduled to take place on June 12 in Singapore. In a letter to Kim, Trump cited North Korea’s “tremendous danger and open hostility” toward his country as reasons for the cancellation.

The fate of the much-anticipated summit had been thrown into question recently, as Washington and Pyongyang threatened to pull out of the meeting over their differences on denuclearizing North Korea, which dismantled its Punggye-ri nuclear test site Thursday in the presence of international journalists.

Moon, who assumed a mediator role between the US and North Korea, reiterated that the two countries should bolster efforts to achieve the goals of denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula and establishing permanent peace. 

“Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and the establishment of permanent peace are historic tasks that can neither be abandoned nor delayed,” the president was quoted as saying during the emergency meeting.

By Yeo Jun-suk (jasonyeo@heraldcorp.com)
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