South Korean president calls for Trump-Kim summit before November election
South Korean President Moon Jae-in has called on President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to meet again before the U.S. presidential election in November, a Seoul official said Wednesday, according to Reuters.
Moon reportedly announced the proposition during a remote video conference with European Council President Charles Michel, saying that another summit between Trump and Kim would restart the stalled nuclear negotiations, according to an official from Moon’s office.
“I believe there’s a need for North Korea and the United States to try dialogue one more time before the U.S. presidential election,” the official quoted Moon as saying. “The issues of nuclear programmes and sanctions will ultimately have to be resolved through North Korea-U.S. talks.”
U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun, who was in charge of working-level negotiations with the North Koreans, said Monday that there could still be time to “make substantial progress” if talks were to resume.
Trump and Kim first met at a summit in Singapore in 2018, which led to promising signs of Pyongyang potentially folding its nuclear weapons program. However, a second summit in Vietnam in 2019 ended without any agreement for shuttering Pyongyang’s program.
Trump also met Kim during a historic meeting in the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea last year in which they agreed to restart nuclear talks, but talks between the countries in Sweden fell apart in October.
Earlier this month, director general of the Department of U.S. Affairs at North Korea’s Foreign Ministry, Kwon Jong Gun, warned the U.S. to stay out of its affairs, firing back at Washington’s criticism of Pyongyang with threats to disrupt the upcoming U.S. election.
“The U.S. had better hold its tongue and mind its internal affairs first if it doesn’t want to experience a horrible thing,” Kwon said. “It would be good not only in the U.S. interests but also for the smooth running of presidential election just at hand.”
Biegun said this week that the prospects of holding an in-person summit before the election would be difficult given the nature of the COVID-19 pandemic posing elevated health risks, citing how the illness has led to hosting most diplomatic meetings virtually.