N.Korea ‘willing to denuclearize’
Washington, Pyongyang need to compromise: Moon
North Korea is “willing to denuclearize” and the US is prepared to end hostile relations, President Moon Jae-in said Thursday as he struck an upbeat tone ahead of his third meeting with Kim Jong-un next week.
The summit will be the third between the leaders of North and South Korea this year and comes as talks between Washington and Pyongyang over dismantling the North’s nuclear arsenal have stalled.
Moon conceded there was a “blockage” and both sides needed to compromise to make some sort of progress on the controversial subject.
“North Korea is willing to denuclearize and therefore willing to discard existing nuclear weapons... and the US is willing to end hostile relations with the North and provide security guarantees,” Moon said.
“But there is a blockage as both sides are demanding each other to act first and I think they will be able to find a point of compromise.”
Moon, who helped broker the June summit between Kim and US President Donald Trump and has called for a follow-up meeting between the two sides, added South Korea would help mediate contacts between Washington and Pyongyang to “speed up the denuclearization process.”
Trump and Kim pledged to denuclearize the peninsula at their historic Singapore meeting. No details were agreed, and Washington and Pyongyang have sparred since over what they meant.
Last month Trump canceled a visit by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to Pyongyang.
The new US envoy for the North, Stephen Biegun, said in August Kim had promised “final, fully verified denuclearization” at the Singapore summit.
But Pyongyang has slammed Washington for its “gangsterlike” demands for complete, verifiable and irreversible disarmament.
South Korea’s Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha said Thursday making progress on denuclearization with North Korea is a “daily concern.”
“Getting traction on the denuclearization and peace process that is very much now in motion – it’s a daily concern to get movement on this,” she told a regional economic forum in the Vietnamese capital Hanoi.