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Moon may join U.S., N. Korean leaders in Singapore for 3-way summit: official

2018/05/28 10:52

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SEOUL, May 28 (Yonhap) -- South Korean President Moon Jae-in could make a trip to Singapore for a three-way summit with his U.S. and North Korean counterparts next month, depending on the outcome of ongoing discussions between Washington and Pyongyang, a ranking government official here said Monday.

The trip, if made, will likely be made around June 12 when U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un are scheduled to hold their bilateral summit, the official from Seoul's presidential office Cheong Wa Dae said.

"The discussions are just getting started, so we are still waiting to see how they come out, but depending on their outcome, the president could join President Trump and Chairman Kim in Singapore," the official told Yonhap News Agency, while speaking on condition of anonymity.

A three-way summit was originally proposed by Moon and the North Korean leader when they held their first-ever meeting at the border village of Panmunjom on April 27.

Moon again expressed hope to hold such a meeting on Sunday, one day after he held his second and surprise meeting with Kim.

"Should the North Korea-U.S. summit succeed, I would like to see efforts to formally end the (Korean) war through a three-way summit of the South, the North and the U.S.," he told a press briefing.

Cheong Wa Dae earlier said the Seoul government was already studying the possibility of a three-way summit following a successful U.S.-North Korea summit but that nothing has been decided or even discussed between the countries.

The official speaking to Yonhap noted a three-way summit in Singapore will largely depend on the outcome of ongoing pre-summit talks between the United States and North Korea, suggesting Moon's Singapore trip will likely be decided before the U..S.-North Korea summit even begins.

Trump earlier said a U.S. team, led by former U.S. Ambassador to Seoul Sung Kim, has arrived in North Korea to "make arrangements for the summit between Kim Jong-un and myself."

   The three-way summit, if held, will likely be aimed at providing a security guarantee for North Korea in exchange for its denuclearization.

The North Korean leader has been quoted as saying his country would have no reason to possess nuclear weapons if and when its security and safety are guaranteed.

Following his second and latest talks with Kim, Moon said the North Korean leader continues to remain uncertain of whether the U.S. would hold up its end of a nuclear deal and guarantee his country's safety.

bdk@yna.co.kr

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