S Korea’s Moon, Trump to meet amid hopes for fresh N Korea talks

Stalled negotiations on denuclearisation in North Korea on top of the agenda of the meeting between South Korea and US.

U.S. President Donald Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae-in, at Blue House, in Seoul,
The South Korean leader is expected to be in New York in late September for the annual UN General Assembly [Jacquelyn Martin/Reuters]

South Korea‘s President Moon Jae-in and United States President Donald Trump are expected to meet at the United Nations later this month, Moon’s office said on Friday, amid hopes for a restart of talks aimed at dismantling North Korea’s nuclear weapons programme.

The two countries’ governments are working to fix a date for the two leaders to hold talks during Moon’s trip to New York for the UN General Assembly, the South Korean president’s spokeswoman Ko Min-jung told a briefing.

The announcement came days after North Korea said it was willing to reopen denuclearisation talks with the United States within the month.

The negotiations stalled after a failed summit in February between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, but the two agreed to revive talks when they met in June at the inter-Korean border.

Trump said on Thursday he would be willing to have another meeting with the North Korean leader at some point later this year which would be their fourth since an unprecedented summit in June 2018.

Trump’s removal of John Bolton, his hard-line national security adviser earlier this week could facilitate the revival of the talks, but analysts said Bolton’s departure was unlikely to make the US goal of persuading Pyongyang to give up its nuclear weapons any easier.

Pyongyang has also repeatedly called for US concessions on sanctions, warning that dealings between both sides could end unless Washington takes a fresh approach.

On Monday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he hoped that talks on denuclearisation could start in the comings days or weeks.

The peninsula has been divided since the 1950-53 Korean War, which ended with an armistice and not a peace treaty. The US, which backed South Korea during the conflict, still stations thousands of troops in the country.

In recent weeks, North Korea has launched a series of short-range missiles, although it has also indicated it is willing to resume negotiations.

Source: News Agencies