President Moon Jae-in on Saturday expressed great satisfaction over his earlier meeting with his US counterpart in Washington, calling US consent for the resumption of dialogue with North Korea a great achievement.
"As you may well know, the US government placing its top priority on resolving the North Korean nuclear issue marks a significant change in its foreign relations policy," Moon said while meeting with a group of South Korean residents in the US capital.
The new South Korean president arrived here Wednesday on a four-day visit for summit talks with US President Donald Trump.
"In that sense, securing President Trump's support for South Korea's leading role in fostering a favorable condition for a peaceful reunification of the Korean Peninsula and resumption of inter-Korean dialogue was a very important achievement," he added.
Following their two-day summit that began Thursday, Moon and Trump said they agreed to a phased denuclearization of North Korea, which may allow a resumption of dialogue with the communist state if the North freezes its nuclear activities or takes other measures to denuclearize.
Also in a joint statement issued at the end of their summit, they said Trump has specifically "supported President Moon's aspiration to restart inter-Korean dialogue on issues including humanitarian affairs."
"Based on this change (in US policy) and the trust formed between President Trump and I, I will resolve the North Korean nuclear issue without fail and establish peace on the Korean Peninsula," Moon said at the meeting with expat South Koreans.
Turning to domestic issues, the South Korean president pledged to rebuild democracy, noting his election was only possible because of people's wish for a change.
The new South Korean leader came into office May 10 following his victory in a presidential by-election caused by the ouster of his conservative predecessor Park Geun-hye over a bribery scandal.
Moon's trip to the US this week also marked his maiden trip as South Korean president.
"I will further develop our democracy," he said. "I will make sure no one will ever have to ask again if this is a country. I will make our democracy stronger and firmer so it will never be swayed again." (Yonhap)