U.S. President Donald Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae In met Thursday in Washington for discussion on topics including Trump’s potential additional meetings with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
It marked the first face-to-face meeting between the leaders since a second Trump-Kim summit, held in late February in Hanoi, abruptly ended without agreement — an outcome that has increased uncertainties around the security of northeast Asia.
Moon is visiting the U.S. capital as part of an effort to help put denuclearization negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang back on track.
Speaking to reporters at a White House meeting, the start of which was open to the media, Trump said a third summit with Kim “could happen,” but that it would not be “a fast process.”
“It’s a step-by-step. It’s not going to go fast,” he said. “If it goes fast, it’s not going to be a proper deal.”
Moon said he does not view the Hanoi summit as a failure, but that it was part of a longer process to achieve denuclearization of North Korea.
Trump said he and Moon will also discuss humanitarian issues such as food aid to North Korea.
Trump added, however, that it is not the right time to provide Pyongyang with economic concessions as advocated by Moon, and that Washington will maintain sanctions as leverage to get North Korea to denuclearize.
The U.S. leader said he is still pushing for a “big deal” under which all sanctions would be lifted if North Korea gave up all of its nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction.
North Korea had called for an incremental, action-for-action process in which Pyongyang would secure concessions such as sanctions relief for each move it made toward denuclearization.
The Hanoi summit broke down when Kim insisted that a significant portion of the U.N. sanctions against North Korea be lifted in return for a partial dismantlement of the country’s nuclear program.
This article provided by NewsEdge.