North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is looking to hold a second summit with President Trump soon to “speed up the denuclearization process,” South Korean President Moon Jae-in said Thursday.
“Chairman Kim Jong Un said he wants Secretary Pompeo’s North Korea visit and a second summit with President Trump to happen at the earliest convenience in order to speed up the denuclearization process,” Moon said after his first visit to the North Korean capital this week.
During the two Koreas’ three-day summit in Pyongyang, Kim expressed his willingness to allow inspections to confirm one of his country’s nuclear sites was actually destroyed as well as dismantle another site provided the U.S. takes “corresponding steps.”
Moon appeared to agree with Kim’s stipulation.
“Such measures should be taken in a balanced manner between North Korea and the United States,” the South Korean leader said. “The U.S. should accordingly take corresponding measures to guarantee the security of North Korea step by step.”
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo cancelled a trip to North Korea last month after an antagonistic letter from Kim Yong Chol, the vice chairman of North Korea’s ruling Workers’ Party Central Committee. This development came after reports that North Korea was secretly furthering its nuclear program, building more ballistic missiles in a factory outside Pyongyang.
However, Pompeo said Wednesday that talks would resume, hoping for complete denuclearization by 2021.
“Chairman Kim reaffirmed his strong will for denuclearization again and again,” Moon stated. “He expressed his intention to complete the denuclearization process as soon as possible and shift his focus to economic development.”
However, Moon agreed that U.S. forces must stay in South Korea until complete denuclearization is achieved.
“The peace treaty will be fulfilled as the final step of complete denuclearization. Until then, the current armistice stays in place,” the South Korean president said. “The need for U.S. forces in Korea is not affected at all.”