Moon: S. Korea, US Assess Korea Peace Process Proceeding Well

Frederick Owens
December 6, 2018

"President Trump asked me to forward to [Kim] these messages; he has a very friendly view of Chairman Kim Jong Un and likes him".

"Ever since South and North Korea were divided into two countries, this will be the first time that a North Korean leader will visit South Korea", Moon said through an interpreter.

United States officials insist on the complete, verified and irreversible denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula before sanctions are lifted.

"The message is that President Trump has very favourable views towards Chairman Kim and he likes him", Mr Moon told reporters aboard a flight from Argentina to New Zealand, where he started a three-day state visit on Sunday.

PEACEMAKER South Korean President Moon Jae-in, left, shakes hands with US President Donald Trump during a meeting on the sidelines of the Group of 20 Leaders' Summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

"There is a possibility that Chairman Kim Jong-un's visit to Seoul may be made within this year, but there's more important things than the timing", he said in translated remarks during a visit to New Zealand. After their third meeting in Pyongyang, North Korea's capital, in September, Moon said Kim agreed to make a reciprocal visit to Seoul this year. Moon said it's still unclear whether Kim will visit Seoul by the end of this year, and that it's up to the North Korean leader.

Multiple ships linked to prohibited North Korean activities were identified after a training workshop with 14 Pacific nations in July, a senior U.S. State Department official told Reuters, without identifying how many ships or the countries involved.

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"I think we're going to do one fairly (soon) - into January, February, I think", Trump said during a press session aboard Air Force One.

He said he hopes to take a two-track approach with Tokyo on North Korea, . something he says Japanese government will agree on.

North Korea had entered into agreements with regional powers in 1994 and in 2005 to dismantle its nuclear program in return for economic benefits and diplomatic rewards, but those deals broke down after Pyongyang clandestinely continued to pursue building weapons of mass destruction.

North and South Korea have begun to remove landmines and destroy military bunkers at parts of their common border as part of efforts to improve long-strained relations.

After sharply raising tensions with nuclear and missile tests past year, Kim abruptly reached out to Moon and Trump with a vague nuclear disarmament pledge.

He did not specify which sites were under consideration, saying they had not been determined yet. The statement said Xi and Trump 'agreed that great progress has been made with respect to North Korea'.

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