Moon pushes for third Kim-Trump summit

World Today

US President Donald Trump (C L) and First Lady Melania Trump (R) welcome South Korean President Moon Jae-in (C R) and his wife Kim Jung-sook to the White House in Washington, DC, on April 11, 2019. (Photo by Nicholas Kamm / AFP)

President Moon Jae-in of the Republic of Korea visited the White House Thursday, hoping to revive stalled talks between the U.S. and Democratic People’s Republic of Korea over nuclear disarmament.

Those negotiations broke down in February when President Donald Trump walked away from a meeting with DPRK leader Kim Jong Un in Vietnam.

“I believe the Hanoi summit was not actually a source of disappointment, but it is part of a bigger process that will lead us to an even bigger agreement,” Moon said during an Oval Office meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump.

The two countries are seeking different terms — The DPRK wants an incremental deal, with sanctions relief coming at each step of the denuclearization process. The U.S. has pushed for complete denuclearization by the DPRK before any sanctions are lifted.

“We want sanctions to remain in place and frankly I had the option of significantly increasing them but I didn’t want to do that because of my relationship with Kim Jong Un,” Trump said.

Moon is pushing for a compromise approach — A comprehensive deal — but one that is implemented in a series of smaller deals. Trump didn’t rule out that approach, but remains focused on a larger deal.

“There are various smaller deals that maybe could happen. You can work out step by step pieces but at this moment we’re talking about a big deal and the deal is you have to get rid of the nuclear weapons,” Trump said.

He also said he is open to a third summit with Kim Jong Un.