In this image grab made from a video, the Republic of Korea's President Moon Jae-in, center, prepares to leave after a wreath laying ceremony at the Auckland War Memorial Museum in Auckland, New Zealand, Dec 3, 2018. Moon says US President Donald Trump told him he has a "very friendly view" of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea's leader Kim Jong-un and wants to grant his wishes if he denuclearizes. (PHOTO / TVNZ VIA AP)
SEOUL/TOKYO — The Republic of Korea (ROK)'s president says US President Donald Trump told him he has a "very friendly view" of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK)'s leader Kim Jong-un and wants to grant his wishes if he denuclearizes.
The DPRK has sought security guarantees from the US and relief from international sanctions.
The DPRK has sought security guarantees from the US and relief from international sanctions
President Moon Jae-in's office quoted Moon as saying that Trump asked him to convey these messages to the DPRK leader if he visits Seoul this year as he promised. Moon spoke to reporters on Saturday aboard his presidential plane en route to New Zealand from Argentina, where he met Trump on the sidelines of a Group of 20 Nations summit.
"President Trump asked me to forward to (Kim) these messages; he has a very friendly view of Chairman Kim Jong-un and likes him. He hopes to fully carry out the remaining agreements (from their June summit in Singapore) together with him so that he will make Chairman Kim Jong-un get what he wants," Moon said.
Moon said he and Trump agreed during their meeting that Kim's trip to Seoul would play a "very positive role" in US-DPRK nuclear diplomacy.
The DPRK leader's visit to Seoul itself will have a significant meaning as it sends to the world his messages of peace and willingness to denuclearize the peninsula and improve inter-Korean relations, said Moon.
Moon also said it's still unclear whether Kim will visit Seoul by the end of this year, and that it's up to the DPRK leader.
Moon, who has facilitated a series of high-level talks between the United States and DPRK, including the Trump-Kim summit, has met Kim three times this year. After their third meeting in Pyongyang, DPRK's capital, in September, Moon said Kim agreed to make a reciprocal visit to Seoul this year. Their two previous summits were held at the countries' shared border village of Panmunjom.
Trump, on Saturday, said on Air Force One while returning to Washington from Argentina that his next meeting with Kim Jong-un would likely happen in January or February. He said there were three sites under consideration, but declined to name them.
Former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon speaks during an interview with the Associated Press in Tokyo, Dec 3, 2018. (KOJI SASAHARA / AP)
Former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged Kim Jong-un to take concrete steps toward complete denuclearization and gain the trust of the international community if he wants sanctions lifted.
Ban, a former ROK foreign minister, made the remarks in Toyko on Monday, where he will be attending a World Bank event.
He said "this is the time" to achieve DPRK's denuclearization after nearly a quarter century of unsuccessful efforts, and that the DPRK and the world should not lose this opportunity.
Ban said denuclearization is important for a better future for the two Koreas, including reconciliation and reunification.
After sharply raising tensions with nuclear and missile tests last year, Kim Jong-un abruptly reached out to Moon and Trump with a nuclear disarmament pledge.
Trump and Moon say tensions have eased significantly since then, but Ban said the crisis is not over and that the DPRK should fully disclose its nuclear weapons inventory to a trusted international organization such as the International Atomic Energy Agency.
"The crisis is still continuing because of North Korea's development of nuclear, missile and weapons program and materials. It is North Korea which should clearly state and show by taking actions, then I am sure that there will be no reason why the Security Council of the United Nations will continue to impose the sanction on North Korea," Ban said.
The DPRK is also referred to as North Korea.
With inputs from Xinhua
HONG KONG NEWS