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Leaders of S. Korea, US Agree to Make Practical Steps Towards Dialogue with N. Korea

News2019-09-24

Anchor: The leaders of South Korea and the United States on Monday held summit talks on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York. The two positively assessed North Korea's recent call to resume working-level dialogue with the U.S. and agreed to take practical steps towards re-entering such talks.
Choi You Sun reports.

Report: Meeting U.S. President Donald Trump on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York on Monday, President Moon Jae-in expressed hope that Washington and Pyongyang would soon resume denuclearization dialogue.

[Sound bite: President Moon Jae-in (Korean)]
"I will be expecting the working-level negotiations between the United States and North Korea to prepare for the third — your third summit with Chairman Kim to resume — to be resumed soon. And when you have your third summit with Chairman Kim, maybe I hope that this will go down as a truly historic moment in world history."

Asked about a potential third summit meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, Trump said he first wants to know what would come out of the working-level discussions.

[Sound bite: US President Donald Trump]
"So, we’ll see what happens. But we’d like to see if we can do something.  And if we can, that would be great. And if we can’t, that’s fine. We’ll see what happens. But there’s been no nuclear testing for a long time. A long time."

Highlighting that he maintains great relations with Kim, Trump downplayed Pyongyang's recent series of short-range ballistic missile launches, adding that they do not violate personal agreements Kim made with the U.S. president.

Moon's spokesperson Ko Min-jung said the leaders reaffirmed their commitment to last year's Singapore summit deal between Washington and Pyongyang.

[Sound bite: Presidential Spokesperson Ko Min-jung (Korean)]
"The two leaders agreed to continue their close collaboration to effectively deal with various challenges on the Korean Peninsula and in the region. They positively evaluated North Korea's willingness to resume dialogue, reconfirming that the spirit of agreements made at the Singapore summit are still effective. The two exchanged opinions on ways to derive practical outcomes from the [upcoming] North Korea-U.S. working-level talks. They reaffirmed their intention to end the hostile relations with North Korea that have lasted over 70 years and establish lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula."

According to the presidential office, however, the leaders did not get into the specifics of sanctions relief or security guarantees demanded by the North.

On the Seoul-Washington alliance, the leaders reaffirmed that it is a key pillar of regional peace and security that remains unshaken. The reassurance comes amid concerns of a possible rift between the two sides due to Seoul’s recent decision to pull out of a military intel-sharing pact with Tokyo against Washington’s wishes.

Ahead of negotiations to craft a new cost-sharing deal to support the stationing of U.S. troops on the Korean Peninsula, Moon reportedly told Trump that Seoul is open to shouldering a "reasonable and fair" level of costs.
Choi You Sun, KBS World Radio News.

[Photo : YONHAP News]

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