[Breaking] President Moon departs for Pyongyang

2018-09-18 08:31

President Moon Jae-in left for Pyongyang on Tuesday morning for his third summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

Moon's plane with a 110-member delegation left Seongnam Air Base at 8:55 a.m. to fly a non-stop route via the West Sea. The plane is set to arrive in Pyongyang at around 10 a.m., his chief of staff Im Jong-seok earlier said. 

During his three-day trip, Moon said he will seek to facilitate the stalled denuclearization talks between North Korea and the US.


“First is removing the possibility of armed clashes, and the fear of war,” Moon said at Monday’s meeting with his senior aides.

“Second is facilitating North-US talks for denuclearization. This is not a matter on which we can take the lead , so (I) hope to speak frankly with Chairman Kim Jong-un to find a middle ground between the US’ demands for denuclearization and the North’s demands for ending hostilities and ensuring safety (of the regime).”

Moon’s first trip to Pyongyang comes amid a deadlock in denuclearization talks between the US and North Korea over what should come first in the denuclearization process. North Korea wants the US to agree to declare an end to the Korean War first, while the US wants the North to take more concrete steps to denuclearize first.

Moon will hold at least two meetings with the North Korean leader in Pyongyang. Their first official talks are scheduled to be held shortly after Moon’s arrival in the North Korean capital, and the second talks on Wednesday morning.

Moon is scheduled return to Seoul on Thursday.

By Ock Hyun-ju  & Joint Press Corps (laeticia.ock@heraldcorp.com)