NATIONAL

Moon offers to ease US burden in talks with NK

By Choi He-suk

Moon says Seoul could take burden of 'corresponding measures'

  • Published : Feb 19, 2019 - 23:30
  • Updated : Feb 20, 2019 - 09:08

President Moon Jae-in on Tuesday highlighted possible role Seoul could play in giving North Korea corresponding measures in negotiations between Pyongyang and Washington.

In a telephone conversation with US President Donald Trump, the two leaders discussed the upcoming US-North Korea summit in Hanoi, Vietnam, and ways for the allies to cooperate on the issue. 

President Moon Jae-in and US President Donald Trump. Cheong Wa Dae

“President Moon Jae-in conveyed (the idea of) using South Korea’s role in (providing) corresponding measures to tow North Korea’s denuclearization measures,” Cheong Wa Dae spokesperson Kim Eui-kyeom said.

“(Moon said that Seoul) is prepared to take on any role, from inter-Korean rail projects to inter-Korean economic cooperation if requested by President Trump, and that that could lessen the burden on the US.”

In negotiating its denuclearization, Pyongyang has been demanding the US to take “corresponding measures” in return for steps it has taken such as dismantling a nuclear weapons testing facility last year.

According to Kim, Moon also stressed the critical role Trump has played in brining negotiations with North Korea to the current stage, and praised the US leader for his support that “enabled big progress in inter-Korean relations.”

“(I) express respect to President Trump, who is seeking a diplomatic strategy for establishing permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula, overcoming the diplomatic failure that led to no results but strengthening of North Korea’s missile and nuclear capabilities through 25 years of talks,” Moon was quoted as saying by his spokesperson.

According to Kim, Trump filled Moon in on developments between the US and North Korea, and expressed high hopes for the upcoming summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

Kim also said that Trump stated that he will speak with Moon soon after the summit meeting.

By Choi He-suk (cheesuk@heraldcorp.com)



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