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Moon Seeks to Mediate between Trump and Kim Jong-un

Written: 2019-03-04 16:07:34Updated: 2019-03-04 16:48:00

Moon Seeks to Mediate between Trump and Kim Jong-un

Photo : YONHAP News

Anchor: South Korean President Moon Jae-in is seeking to mediate between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Moon held a meeting with the National Security Council at the presidential office compound, discussing ways to bridge the gap between the two leaders after their much-anticipated summit in Hanoi collapsed without an agreement. 
Kim Bum-soo has more.

Report: The South Korean president is trying to reduce the gap between Washington and Pyongyang in the wake of the collapse of their nuclear summit last week.  

President Moon Jae-in on Monday held a meeting of the National Security Council with his key cabinet ministers, the head of the state intelligence agency and key aides.

[Sound bite: President Moon Jae-in (Korean)]
"We hope the two leaders will meet in the near future and reach an agreement that was delayed... In that process, our role has again become important."
"We believe that the North Korea-U.S. talks will eventually work out but do not want a long stalemate."

Moon instructed his officials to find out where the two sides disagree and devise ways to improve inter-Korean ties within the existing framework of sanctions placed on North Korea.  

This came as Washington and Pyongyang are blaming each other for failing to agree to a denuclearization deal during their summit in Vietnam last week.  

[Sound bite: President Moon Jae-in (Korean)]
"The dismantlement of the Yongbyon nuclear facility, which is the foundation of the North Korean nuclear development, is now within a visible range along with the U.S. inspection and verification. If the plutonium reprocessing and uranium enrichment facilities of Yongbyon are completely dismantled, the North Korean denuclearization will enter into an irrevirsible phase."

Moon said the U.S.-North Korea talks have now entered a new phase, where they will discuss denuclearization and corresponding measures. 

Following the Hanoi talks, U.S. President Donald Trump called Moon from Air Force One on his way back to Washington. Officials said Trump asked Moon to play a mediating role between him and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

Despite his positive take, the second Trump-Kim talks were disappointing for the South Korean president, who had hoped the meeting would serve as a turning point for denuclearization and lead to permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula.

Moon told Trump a week before the summit that South Korea can work with the U.S. in offering corresponding measures to North Korea's denuclearization steps. Moon made reference to the pending inter-Korean project of linking severed inter-Korean roads and railways as possible reward measures for the North.
Kim Bum-soo, KBS World Radio News.

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