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Ex-president Moon recalls in memoir NK leader voiced will not to use nukes

By Yonhap

Published : May 17, 2024 - 20:28

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North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (right) and his daughter Ju-ae (Yonhap) North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (right) and his daughter Ju-ae (Yonhap)

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un had voiced frustration over global skepticism on his will for denuclearization, stressing he had no intention to use nuclear weapons, a memoir written by former President Moon Jae-in showed Friday.

The details of exchanges between Moon and Kim during their first summit held in April 2018 were shared in the book, of which the title translates into "From the Periphery to the Center." It recounts significant diplomatic events, such as Moon's summit meetings with Kim and former US President Donald Trump, during his five-year presidency that ended in May 2022.

During the 2018 inter-Korean summit, Kim was quoted as saying by Moon that he "has no intention at all to use nuclear weapons" and that he "does not want his daughter's generation to shoulder" such a burden.

In the memoir, Moon recollected some symbolic moments during the historic inter-Korean summit.

During a private conversation on a footbridge, Moon said he encouraged Kim to handle the North Korea-US talks well, while Kim asked the former president how he could persuade Washington and make the United States accept Pyongyang's sincerity.

Moon also gave assessments of his North Korean and US counterparts.

On Kim, the former president said the North Korean leader was "completely different" from how he was depicted in the media, saying he was a polite and respectful person whom Moon felt he could talk to.

Moon said Trump was "far from being ideological" and had a "practical" attitude for dialogue, which were favorable traits for the former president who was pursuing a peace process on the Korean Peninsula, according to the memoir.

The former president still said it is "very regretful" that Kim defined inter-Korean ties as relations between "two states hostile to each other," saying this is "not an attitude of a national leader who seeks peace."

The North Korean leader made the statement at a year-end party meeting and vowed not to regard the South as a counterpart for reconciliation and unification. (Yonhap)