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Wednesday, July 01, 2020, 15:00
ROK's Moon calls for US-DPRK leaders' summit before US polls
By Reuters
Wednesday, July 01, 2020, 15:00 By Reuters

South Korean President Moon Jae-in speaks during his New Year press conference at the presidential Blue House in Seoul on Jan 14, 2020. (KIM HONG-JI / POOL PHOTO / AFP)

SEOUL – Republic of Korea (ROK) President Moon Jae-in said US President Donald Trump and Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) leader Kim Jong-un should meet again before the US presidential election in November, a Seoul official told reporters on Wednesday.

Trump and Kim's second summit, in 2019 in Vietnam, fell apart when Trump rejected Kim’s offer to dismantle DPRK’s main nuclear facility in return for lifting some economic sanctions

Trump and Kim met for the first time in 2018 in Singapore, raising hopes of an agreement to get Pyongyang to give up its nuclear weapons program. But their second summit, in 2019 in Vietnam, fell apart when Trump rejected Kim’s offer to dismantle DPRK’s main nuclear facility in return for lifting some economic sanctions.

ALSO READ: DPRK foreign minister lashes out at US policy toward Pyongyang 

Moon made the remarks during a video conference with European Council President Charles Michel on Tuesday, saying another summit between Trump and Kim would help resume the stalled nuclear negotiations, an official at Moon’s office told reporters.

“I believe there’s a need for North Korea and the United States to try dialogue one more time before the US presidential election,” the official quoted Moon as saying. “The issues of nuclear programs and sanctions will ultimately have to be resolved through North Korea-US talks.”

The DPRK is also referred to as North Korea and ROK as South Korea.

ALSO READ: ROK's unification minister steps down over rising tensions with DPRK

Moon’s office had conveyed such views to Washington and the officials there are making efforts, the official said.

Moon’s comments came days after US Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun, who led working-level negotiations with DPRK, said there is still time for both sides to re-engage and “make substantial progress”.

Biegun, however, said an in-person summit would be difficult before the November election, citing the coronavirus pandemic which has all but wiped the world’s diplomatic calendar clean.

“I think it’s probably unlikely between now and the US election, as we see events being cancelled around the world,” Biegun told a virtual seminar hosted by the German Marshall Fund’s Brussels Forum on Monday.

READ MORE: ROK's Moon prods DPRK's Kim for peace 70 years after war


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