NATIONAL

S. Korean, US national security officials meet over upcoming summit

By Choi He-suk
  • Published : Apr 2, 2019 - 15:46
  • Updated : Apr 2, 2019 - 15:46

South Korean and US national security officials met in Washington on Monday to fine-tune the agenda for the upcoming summit between the two countries.

Kim Hyun-chong, the second deputy chief of Cheong Wa Dae’s National Security Office, held talks at the White House with US deputy national security adviser Charles Kupperman.

Kim Hyun-chong, the second deputy chief of Cheong Wa Dae’s National Security Office, speaks to reporters in Washington on Saturday. Yonhap

During the meeting, Kim and Kupperman reportedly discussed the agenda for President Moon Jae-in’s meeting with US President Donald Trump, set for April 11. Details about the meeting have not been released, but Kim was quoted by local media as saying the talks “went well.”

At the upcoming summit, Moon will seek ways to rekindle US-North Korea relations that have hit difficulties following Trump’s meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in February.

“A temporary difficulty has been created due to the failure to reach an agreement at the second North Korea-US summit, but the fact that South Korea, North Korea and the US do not wish to go back to the past is clearly being confirmed,” Moon said Monday during a meeting with senior aides.

Moon stressed that his planned trip -- arranged at Trump’s invitation, according to Moon -- is the result of Seoul and Washington’s will to “revive the momentum for dialogue at an early date.”

“I will hold in-depth discussions with President Trump about ways to enhance South Korea-US cooperation for further progress in the Korean Peninsula peace process that will include the resumption of North Korea-US talks, complete denuclearization of the peninsula and improvements in inter-Korean and North Korea-US relations,” Moon said.

Since the second Trump-Kim summit in Hanoi ended without any agreement, North Korea has shown signs of deviating from its denuclearization agreement with Seoul and Washington.

Movement at key North Korean missile and nuclear sites have been detected on a number of occasions, and concerns have been raised that Pyongyang is preparing to launch a rocket.

It has also been reported that Trump demanded Kim deliver North Korea’s nuclear weapons and related equipment to the US at the Hanoi summit. North Korea, for its part, had demanded a number of economic sanctions to be lifted in return for a limited portion of its nuclear program.

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