Blue House will review reopening KaesongThe Blue House said Friday it will review the possible resumption of operations at a joint industrial park in North Korea under the United Nations sanctions framework and seek consultations with the United States on that goal.
“There is a need to cautiously seek consultations with the United States [over how to resume the project] under the existing framework of international sanctions,” said a senior presidential official, asking not to be named.
“We also need to explain [to the North] what benefits it could get in return for denuclearization, as we could provide a broad picture,” he added.
President Moon Jae-in is seeking to reopen the shuttered industrial complex in North Korea’s border city of Kaesong and resume a long-suspended tour on the North’s Mount Kumgang as the government hopes to prod Pyongyang to stay on the course for dialogue.
But his drive has reportedly irked Washington, which has vowed to keep up its pressure campaign on North Korea until Pyongyang gives up its nuclear weapons. U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un ended their summit last week in Hanoi without any agreement, as they differed on the scope of denuclearization and sanctions relief.
The Seoul official stressed South Korea is willing to play a mediating role between the United States and North Korea to help kick-start dialogue. “We are closely coordinating with the United States and share the goal of complete denuclearization [of the Korean Peninsula]. That’s why we see the need for the United States and North Korea to immediately resume their talks.”
The official said Moon plans to appeal for support for his peace initiative during his tour to three Southeastern Asian nations next week. Moon will begin a seven-day state trip to Brunei, Malaysia and Cambodia on Sunday.
“He plans to explain the need to resume the United States-North Korea dialogue swiftly and highlight that the recent summit was productive and that Trump and Kim expressed a willingness for continuous talks,” the official added.