Moon hopes to meet Kim ahead of Trump's ROK trip in late June
Updated 14:28, 13-Jun-2019

The Republic of Korea (ROK) President Moon Jae-in said on Wednesday he hopes to meet with Kim Jong Un, leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), before U.S. President Donald Trump's visit to the peninsula at the end of this month.

In his speech at the Oslo Forum in Norway, Moon emphasized the urgency of Pyongyang and Washington resuming formal denuclearization talks.

"If the period of no dialogue is prolonged, then the passion for dialogue could subside," he said, on the first anniversary of the historic first Trump-Kim meeting held on June 12 last year in Singapore. The second such meeting broke up in disarray in Hanoi, Vietnam, without even a joint statement.

According to Yonhap News Agency, Moon reiterated that he's ready to have talks with Kim at any time and that the timing is up to Kim. He said that deepening mutual understanding and trust is needed in the peace process on the Korean Peninsula.

"Talks appear in a stalemate since the second U.S.-DPRK, but that is because we need some time to understand each other thoroughly," Moon said. "It is the process of thawing out hostile feelings that have persisted for the last 70 year."

Moon Jae-in – the middle-man between Kim and Trump

President Donald Trump walks with ROK's President Moon Jae-in at the White House, Washington, DC., April 11, 2019. /Reuters Photo

President Donald Trump walks with ROK's President Moon Jae-in at the White House, Washington, DC., April 11, 2019. /Reuters Photo

On Tuesday, Trump revealed that he had received a letter from Kim the previous day and that he expects positive developments between the two countries. Despite no formal dialogue between the two Koreas and between DPRK and the U.S., Moon said, such letters are being exchanged among their leaders. He said he knew of Kim's plan to send the letter to Trump in advance, and he was informed by Washington of it later as well.   

As the leaders continue to trade such "warm letters," Moon said, dialogue momentum is being maintained. However, he warned that it could lose steam if the current, apparent stalemate in denuclearization and peace talks is further drawn out.

"I am calling for an early meeting between Chairman Kim and President Trump," he said.

Although no exact schedule has been announced, Trump is set to meet with Moon during his visit to Asia for the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan on June 28 and 29. 

The two will meet in ROK to discuss efforts to rid the country’s northern neighbor of its nuclear program, according to White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

(With input from Xinhua and AFP)

(Cover: ROK President Moon Jae-in delivers a keynote speech on June 12, 2019 at the University of Oslo in Norway. /AFP Photo)