Trump, Moon to Discuss North Korea at U.N. This Month

SEOUL (Reuters) -
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U.S. President Donald Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae-In meeting in the Oval Office of the White House in May. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in and U.S. President Donald Trump hope to discuss North Korea on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly in New York this month, Moon’s office said on Tuesday, amid lackluster progress on the North’s nuclear issues.

Presidents Moon and Trump spoke for 50 minutes by telephone on Tuesday, a day before Moon’s special envoys were due to visit Pyongyang to discuss a third summit later this month between the liberal South Korean leader and his North Korean counterpart.

The planned inter-Korean summit follows Trump’s cancellation of a visit to Pyongyang by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo last month after Pompeo received a belligerent letter from a senior North Korean official.

Moon and Trump agreed in their call “to explore the idea of meeting in person on the margins of the U.N. General Assembly and having in-depth consultations on strategies and how to cooperate on the peninsula issues,” Moon’s office said in a statement.

Kim vowed during his historic summit with Trump in April in Singapore to work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, but the two sides have since made little headway towards that goal.

Earlier on Tuesday, Chung Eui-yong, chief of the national security office at Seoul’s presidential Blue House, said he would deliver a letter from Moon to Kim when he visits the North, without elaborating on its contents.

Chung said he wanted to discuss with Pyongyang officials ways to achieve the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

Seoul will continue to push for a joint declaration of an end to the 1950-53 Korean War within this year with the United States, Chung told reporters.