Efforts to denuclearize North Korea have been and will continue to be at the center of inter-Korean dialogue, including summit talks, an official from the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae said Thursday.
"Already, denuclearization has been the most important issue in talks between the leaders of South Korea, North Korea and the United States," Cheong Wa Dae spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom said.
The remarks came as South Korean President Moon Jae-in is set to visit Pyongyang next month for what would be his third bilateral summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. The two earlier met on April 27 and May 26, followed by Kim's historic summit with US President Donald Trump in Singapore on June 12.
The Cheong Wa Dae spokesman was responding to a question about whether Moon's scheduled trip to the North will be aimed at not only removing the apparent stumbling block in denuclearization talks between Washington and Pyongyang but also encouraging the North itself to resume or accelerate its denuclearization process.
The US president earlier called off a scheduled North Korea trip by his Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, citing what he called a lack of progress in the North's denuclearization process.
"Because the denuclearization issue is the most important issue in the inter-Korean summit, there is no change to the fact that we will focus our discussions on resolving that issue, regardless of whether Secretary Pompeo visits North Korea or not," the Cheong Wa Dae spokesman said. (Yonhap)