South Korean president: North, US must ‘pull back their deep-rooted mutual distrust’

South Korean president: North, US must ‘pull back their deep-rooted mutual distrust’
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South Korean President Moon Jae-in called on the U.S. and North Korea to “make bold decisions” and continue their negotiations on Pyongyang’s denuclearization despite an apparent recent lull in progress.

“North Korea must carry out its nuclear dismantling and the United States must take a corresponding step. Under such a process, the two countries must pull back their deep-rooted mutual distrust caused by their 70 years of hostile relations,” Moon said Tuesday during a cabinet meeting, according to the Associated Press

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The comments come days ahead of a meeting between Moon and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un that Moon said must produce a “big step” toward denuclearization.

Kim and President TrumpDonald John TrumpMcCabe says he was fired because he 'opened a case against' Trump McCabe: Trump said 'I don't care, I believe Putin' when confronted with US intel on North Korea McCabe: Trump talked to me about his election victory during 'bizarre' job interview MORE met in Singapore in June to discuss denuclearization.

North Korea has not tested any missiles or nuclear weapons, has released three U.S. citizens held in its prisons and has returned what the White House says are the remains of fallen service members from the Korean War since the summit.

However, North Korea has not made any substantive advances toward dismantling its nuclear stockpile. 

Trump also abruptly canceled a trip last month by Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoHeather Nauert withdraws her name from consideration for UN ambassador job The Hill's Morning Report — Presented by the American Academy of HIV Medicine — Trump, Congress prepare for new border wall fight Overnight Defense: Trump to sign funding deal, declare national emergency | Shanahan says allies will be consulted on Afghanistan | Dem demands Khashoggi documents MORE to Pyongyang, citing a lack of progress.

“I have asked Secretary of State Mike Pompeo not to go to North Korea, at this time, because I feel we are not making sufficient progress with respect to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula...” he said.

However, a South Korean envoy to North Korea claimed last week that Kim said he intended to denuclearize before Trump’s first term is over in 2021. 

Trump welcomed the news, proclaiming, “We will get it done together!” 

The White House announced Monday that Kim has sent Trump a letter requesting a second summit and that planning for such a meeting was underway.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the letter is a sign Trump has “achieved tremendous success of his policy so far and the letter was further evidence of progress in that relationship."