North Korean leader Kim Jong Un kicked off his summit with South Korean President Moon Jae-in with a rare airport welcome for Moon and praise for the Singapore summit Kim had in June with President Donald Trump.
“Thanks to that, the political situation in the region has stabilized and I expect more advanced results,” Kim told Moon, referring to the Singapore gathering, Reuters reported.
Kim made his first personal airport welcome since he took power in 2011, according to South Korean officials, as he greeted Moon to start the South Korean leader’s first visit to Pyongyang for his third summit meeting with Kim.
Kim told Moon that he wants diplomacy to succeed.
“I think it was our people’s wish that we come up with good results as fast as we can,” Kim said, according to The Associated Press.
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Moon has positioned himself to be the go-between to keep talks moving between North Korea and the United States as they deal with decades of suspicion and multiple complex issues.
“If North Korea-U.S. dialogue is restarted after this visit, it would have much significance in itself,” Moon said before his departure.
“What I want to achieve is peace. Not a tentative change which could be volatile dependent on international situation, but irreversible, permanent and unwavering peace, regardless of what might happen on the global arena,” Moon tweeted, according to CNN.
Moon said he will do what it takes to keep everyone talking
“I am willing to talk candidly with Chairman Kim Jong Un to find a balance between the U.S.’ demands for denuclearization and North Korea’s request for dropping hostile policies and enforcing measures to secure their safety,” Moon said Monday.
“I believe that the denuclearization issue can be progressed at a rapid pace if the two leaders face each other again and talk,” he said.
However, North Korea’s official Rodong Sinmun newspaper said Tuesday that “the responsibility falls squarely on the United States” for the fact that talks about denuclearization have ground to a halt.
“It is due to its nonsensical, irrational stubbornness that other issues can only be discussed after our country has completely verifiably, irreversibly dismantled our nuclear capabilities … without showing the intention to build trust including declaring the end of war,” the newspaper said in an editorial, according to the AP.
Moon’s chief of staff, Im Jong-seok, said it’s “difficult to have any optimistic outlook” for major progress during the Moon-Kim meetings, NBC reported.
He said agreements to be announced Wednesday can “fundamentally remove the danger of armed clashes and ease fears of war” between North and South Korea.
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