SEOUL, Nov. 29 (Yonhap) — The United States and North Korea should hold their second summit at an early date to break the impasse in their denuclearization talks, a special adviser to President Moon Jae-in says.
Moon Chung-in, who serves as special presidential adviser for unification, foreign and security affairs, made the remark during a seminar in Seoul, calling for a “political decision” by U.S. President Donald Trump.
“The most ideal steps would be a second summit between the U.S. and North Korea, then a trilateral summit and an end of war declaration between the Koreas and the U.S., followed by Kim Jong-un’s visit to Seoul,” he said, referring to a formal end to the 1950-53 Korean War, which ceased only with an armistice.
“If this is unlikely, Kim should visit Seoul first. President Moon’s coordination could result in the second U.S.-North Korea summit, followed by the end of the war declaration,” the adviser said. “Either way, the key is President Moon’s role as a mediator.”
The remarks came as nuclear talks between the U.S. and North Korea have continued to stall.
North Korea wants the U.S. to relieve sanctions in exchange for the denuclearization steps the regime has taken so far, such as blowing up its nuclear testing site. But the U.S. insists that sanctions relief is possible only after the North’s complete denuclearization.
The adviser said the North and the U.S. should trade denuclearization measures and sanctions relief.
“What’s the most important is North Korea’s denuclearization measures,” Moon said in a paper for the seminar. “In order to be able to persuade the U.S., bolder preemptive measures should be put forward that go beyond Punggye-ri, Dongchang-ri and Yongbyon.”
He was referring to the denuclearization steps the North has taken or offered to take, including blowing up the Punggye-ri nuclear test site, a promise to dismantle the Dongchang-ri missile launch base and an offer to shut down the Yongbyon nuclear complex.
His point was that those measures are not enough to convince the U.S. to relieve sanctions.
Moon also said the current “unilateral” U.S. attitude could backfire as it could be seen as a demand for “North Korea’s surrender.”
“It would be a reasonable course of action for the U.S. and the international community to take corresponding sanctions relief measures if the North takes an irreversible step toward complete denuclearization,” he said.
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