Trump expects co-efforts with Moon for denuke issue
U.S. President Donald Trump told President Moon Jae-in that he was expecting to see continued joint efforts between Washington and Seoul in achieving complete denuclearization of North Korea and peace on the Korean Peninsula, Cheong Wa Dae said, Tuesday.
“During a meeting with President Moon and U.S. National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien in Bangkok, Monday evening, O’Brien delivered Trump’s personal letter in which the U.S. president also expressed his condolences over the passing of President Moon’s mother. Trump wrote of his expectation for continued efforts with President Moon to stay together in achieving denuclearization of North Korea and peace on the Korean Peninsula,” Cheong Wa Dae spokesperson Ko Min-jung told reporters in a briefing.
Trump also wrote that South Korea and the United States are making concerted and relentless efforts to restart the reunions between families north and south of the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), the senior presidential aide said.
Recalling President Moon’s story of his family’s history on how his parents fled to South Korea during the Korean War, the U.S. president also wrote in the letter that he and first lady Melania Trump were initially surprised to hear of the death of Moon’s mother, the Cheong Wa Dae spokesperson said.
“In the letter, Trump recalled hearing that President Moon’s late mother had wished to set foot in her hometown in North Korea again. Trump also wrote he was fully aware of President Moon’s efforts and how those efforts made her proud of her son,” Ko told reporters.
Moon’s parents fled to South Korea during the Hungnam Evacuation in 1950.
Moon thanked O’Brien for delivering Trump’s letter and wished for Washington’s continued engagement in resolving the North Korean nuclear conflict issue.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and Pope Francis also shared their condolences, sending letters to the President via another presidential aide and diplomatic channel, respectively.
On a related note, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe condemned
North Korea’s continued missile launches by calling the actions a breach of United Nations Security Council resolutions.
In Bangkok at this year’s summit with leaders of Southeast Asian countries, Abe stressed economic sanctions currently being placed on North Korea should be maintained. Abe asked China, South Korea, ASEAN member nations and Japan to “fully apply” U.N. sanctions on North Korea to achieve the denuclearization of the peninsula.
Such a gesture by the Japanese leader came after an 11-minute faceto-face conversation with President Moon on the sidelines of the ASEAN gathering, during which both of them agreed to resolve all outstanding bilateral issues via open dialogue.
President Moon returned home Tuesday afternoon after wrapping up his three-day trip to Thailand for the ASEAN gathering.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in, center, walks to attend ASEAN Special Lunch on Sustainable Development in Nonthaburi, Thailand, Monday.