White House: Trump to meet with South Korean president at UN

White House: Trump to meet with South Korean president at UN
© Getty Images

President TrumpDonald John TrumpOver 100 lawmakers consistently voted against chemical safeguards: study CNN's Anderson Cooper unloads on Trump Jr. for spreading 'idiotic' conspiracy theories about him Cohn: Jamie Dimon would be 'phenomenal' president MORE and South Korean President Moon Jae-in will huddle on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly meeting later this month as they push North Korea to denuclearize, the White House announced Tuesday.

Trump and Moon spoke by phone for a little under an hour on Tuesday, according to Moon’s office. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the pair "agreed to meet later this month on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly."

A South Korean delegation is scheduled to travel to Pyongyang on Wednesday to plan a third summit between Moon and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Moon promised Trump on Tuesday "a readout of that meeting," Sanders said.

In their call, Moon and Trump agreed “to explore the idea of meeting in person on the margins of the U.N. General Assembly and having in-depth consultations on strategies and how to cooperate on the peninsula issues,” Moon’s office said in a statement, according to a translation from Reuters.

ADVERTISEMENT

Efforts to follow up on June’s historic summit between Trump and Kim have struggled as both sides accuse the other of failing to live up to commitments made at the summit.

The summit ended with a joint statement in which North Korea agreed to “work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula” in exchange for unspecified security assurances from the United States. 

North Korea wants a peace declaration to officially end the Korean War; the war is technically ongoing because it ended with an armistice instead of a peace treaty. But before it will agree to that, the United States wants North Korea to provide a complete inventory of its nuclear material and facilities.

Earlier this month, Trump canceled a planned visit to Pyongyang by Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoOvernight Defense: Air Force outlines plan for biggest force since end of Cold War | Trump admin slashes refugee cap | Mattis accuses Russia of meddling in Macedonia's NATO bid Hillicon Valley: Elon Musk sued by diver from Thai cave rescue | Researchers find new malware family | FEMA delays new presidential alert test Trump administration to cut refugee admissions to 30K for 2019 MORE, reportedly after the North sent a belligerent letter that left the Trump administration convinced that the trip would be of little value.

The cancellation was particularly jarring because it came a day after Pompeo named a special envoy to North Korea, a move many hoped would reinvigorate talks.

Seoul is hoping to breathe new life into the U.S.-North Korea talks with its engagement with Pyongyang.

In a briefing Tuesday, Chung Eui-yong, director of South Korea’s national security office, said South Korea’s goals for Wednesday’s trip include discussions on a declaration to end the Korean War by the end of the year and achieving complete denuclearization of the peninsula. 

Chung also said he would deliver a letter from Moon to Kim, without elaborating on its contents.

Updated: 2:30 p.m.