SEOUL (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump will meet North Korean chief Kim Jong Un at the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) between the two Koreas on Sunday, South Korean President Moon Jae-in mentioned, elevating hopes for a revival of stalled nuclear talks.
Trump arrived in Seoul late on Saturday for talks with Moon after attending a Group of 20 summit in Osaka, Japan, throughout which he made a shock, spur-of-the-moment supply to meet Kim.
It shall be the third time in simply over a yr that Trump and Kim have met, and 4 months since their second summit in Hanoi, Vietnam broke down.
“When a third summit between the United States and North Korea happens will depend what change today’s meeting will make,” Moon advised a joint information convention with Trump.
Trump and Moon will go to the closely fortified border collectively. Trump wished to go to throughout a 2017 journey to South Korea however heavy fog prevented it.
Moon mentioned earlier a handshake between Trump and Kim at the DMZ could be a historic occasion, and would give hope for progress of their dialogue.
“It would set a significant milestone in the process of achieving complete denuclearization and lasting peace on the Korean peninsula,” Moon advised Trump.
Kim and Moon held their historic first summit in the zone final yr, which preceded the first U.S.-North Korean summit in Singapore in June final yr.
Moon has championed efforts to finish hostilities between North Korea and the United States, vowing to play a mediator position in nudging North Korea into giving up its nuclear weapons in trade for sanctions reduction and safety ensures.
Trump mentioned earlier each he and Kim had been keen to meet.
“It’s going to be very short, virtually a handshake. But that’s OK. A handshake means a lot,” Trump mentioned after a gathering with South Korean enterprise leaders together with the heads of Samsung, Hyundai Motor, Lotte, SK and Poongsan teams.
He mentioned he and Kim had a “good relationship” however there was nonetheless a good distance to go to attain an settlement that might finish the North’s nuclear program in return for an finish to sanctions and everlasting peace on the Korean peninsula.
Trump advised Moon that he had “plenty of time” and was in “no rush” to attain a deal.
North Korea has pursued nuclear and missile packages for years in defiance of U.N. Security Council resolutions, and easing tensions with North Korea is one in all the U.S. President’s high overseas coverage priorities.
Trump made the supply to meet in a message on Twitter about his go to to South Korea, saying he wished “just to shake his hand and say ‘Hello’.”
In response, the North’s KCNA state information company quoted a senior North Korean official a number of hours later saying it was a “very interesting suggestion” and could be a “meaningful occasion,” however North Korea had not obtained an official proposal.
The Joint Security Area, with its cluster of distinctive shiny blue buildings, has a checkered historical past of defections, rigidity and dying. In 1976, axe-wielding North Korean troopers murdered two American troopers who had been slicing down a poplar tree there to safe a transparent view.
Trump, talking at a information convention in Japan on Saturday, mentioned he could be “very comfortable” stepping throughout the border into North Korea, as Moon did briefly final yr.
Some South Korean analysts mentioned a Trump-Kim encounter would do little to advance progress on denuclearization.
“Trump is trying to get a free hand in controlling peace on the Korean peninsula with his tweets and we can’t let that happen,” mentioned Kim Dong-yup of Kyungnam University’s Institute for Far Eastern Studies in Seoul.
“It’s a strategy and technique he adopted to deal with those who are in a weak position in negotiations, and that’s for domestic politics.”
Reporting by Hyonhee Shin, Robert Rampton and Joyce Lee; Editing by Jack Kim, Robert Birsel