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Moon to hold summit with Trump at G-20

Nov 29,2018
South Korean President Moon Jae-in will hold a bilateral summit with U.S. President Donald Trump this week on the sidelines of the G-20 Summit in Buenos Aires, the Blue House announced on Wednesday.

The meeting will mark Moon’s sixth summit with Trump. It is set to be held about two months after they last met on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York last late September.

A high-level Blue House official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said on Wednesday that the leaders are expected to meet on Friday, Buenos Aires time. The venue has yet to be decided, but chances are high that they will meet in a G-20 conference room in the Argentine capital.

Moon and Trump “will discuss in-depth the process towards achieving peace on the Korean Peninsula and matters pertaining to the second North Korea-U.S. summit,” said the official.

U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton said on a separate note that Trump is scheduled to hold bilateral summits with Moon, Chinese President Xi Jinping, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Russian President Vladimir Putin: the leaders of all the six-party nations except North Korea.

A Moon-Trump summit hadn’t been decided upon until Tuesday, when a Blue House official told reporters it would be “difficult” to schedule a meeting with the White House chief due to his short stay in Argentina.

The G-20 Summit will last two days and will start on Friday, Buenos Aires time. Blue House officials hope that a Moon-Trump summit will help revive stalled denuclearization talks between Washington and Pyongyang and add momentum to discussions between Pyongyang and Seoul on North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s visit to Seoul this year. The discussions on Kim’s visit haven’t even begun yet.

When Moon met U.S. Vice President Mike Pence on Nov. 15 in Singapore on the sidelines of the East Asia Summit, he used the opportunity to reaffirm Seoul’s policy of engagement with Pyongyang. He also told Pence that it was imperative to “specifically show” the North the bright future that awaits them if it denuclearizes.

Taking a different tone, however, the White House said in a statement on the Moon-Pence meeting that the two discussed “ongoing efforts to accomplish our two countries’ mutual goals of achieving the final, fully verified denuclearization of North Korea.”

Moon left for his eight-day trip to the Czech Republic, Argentina and New Zealand on Tuesday.

BY LEE SUNG-EUN, KANG TAE-HWA [lee.sungeun@joongang.co.kr]


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