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Moon heads to US for UN General Assembly, Trump summit

President Moon Jae-in on Sunday set out on a five-day trip to the US to attend the UN General Assembly.

On the sidelines of the event, Moon is scheduled to hold a summit with US President Donald Trump and a number of other world leaders. 

President Moon Jae-in and first lady Kim Jung-sook (Yonhap)
President Moon Jae-in and first lady Kim Jung-sook (Yonhap)

According to Cheong Wa Dae, Moon’s meeting with Trump -- scheduled for Monday there -- will focus on denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula as well as the South Korea-US alliance.

“President Moon will discuss cooperation measures for the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and for establishing permanent peace,” Choi Jong-kun, secretary to the president for peace planning, said at a briefing Thursday.

“Current regional issues and various plans for further strengthening Korea-US alliance will also be discussed.”

The meeting with Trump comes as US and North Korea appear to be gearing up for the long-stalled denuclearization talks. The North has expressed willingness to sit down with the US in recent weeks, calling for “new calculations” on part of the US, while taking a hard-line stance on Seoul.

The North has also conducted a series of short-range ballistic weapons tests, but Trump has downplayed their significance on numerous occasions. Trump also replaced as national security adviser John Bolton, who had been constantly attacked by Pyongyang.

The ninth Moon-Trump summit is also drawing attention due to the possibility of the US taking a more active role in the Seoul-Tokyo friction. The Seoul-Tokyo friction over historical issues has spilled over to trade, following Japan’s decision to apply trade-curbing measures in apparent response to the South Korean Supreme Court’s ruling that Japanese firms compensate forced laborers.

In addition to the meeting with Trump, Moon will hold summit meetings with leaders of Australia, Denmark and Poland.

Moon’s meetings with Danish and Polish leaders are set for Monday, and the Korea-Australia summit is on Tuesday.

On Monday, Moon will also meet with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and attend the Climate Action Summit. Moon will later attend an event for Partnering for Green Growth and the Global Goals 2030 summit, which will be held in Seoul next year.

On Tuesday, Moon will meet with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and attend the UN General Assembly, where he will give a keynote speech. Later in the day, Moon is scheduled to meet with International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach, where he will discuss plans for fielding a unified inter-Korean team at next year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo and the potential joint Seoul-Pyongyang hosting of the 2032 Summer Olympics, among other issues.

By Choi He-suk (
Korea Herald Youtube