South Korean President Moon Jae-in and his American counterpart Donald Trump are expected to meet on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly session, later this month, amid hopes of restarting talks aimed at dismantling North Korea’s nuclear weapons programme.
But the two sides are still in consultations on a detailed timetable for the summit, Moon’s office said in a statement cited by Yonhap news agency.
Moon is scheduled to deliver a keynote speech at the UN session on September 24. He will also hold a series of bilateral meetings with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and leaders from other countries.
Meanwhile, regarding the Moon-Trump summit, the North Korea issue will be high on the agenda.
“(We) are not at the stage of speaking (to the media) about specific agenda items,” Moon’s Presidential Office spokesperson, Ko Min-jung said at a press briefing. But she presented what she called a “cautious” view that “giant cogwheels” seem to “have begun to move inch by inch” toward peace on the Korean peninsula.
She cited recent remarks by top North Korea and US officials. North’s Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son-hui proposed resuming working-level talks with Washington in late September.
Many observers have predicted that John Bolton’s departure from the position of US National Security Adviser will have a positive effect on their denuclearisation negotiations.
Moon and Trump are also likely to discuss sensitive issues like the trade dispute between Seoul and Tokyo and how much South Korea should pay for the presence of US forces on its soil.
Moon and Trump had their previous summit in Seoul on June 30, after which they travelled to the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) together. They briefly met with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un at the truce village of Panmunjom within the DMZ, which serves as the inter-Korean border.