Moon Jae-in expects Kim Jong Un to soon meet Chinese, Russian leaders

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (left) and South Korean President Moon Jae-in walking together during a visit to Samjiyon guesthouse near Mount Paektu, on Sept 20, 2018.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (left) and South Korean President Moon Jae-in walking together during a visit to Samjiyon guesthouse near Mount Paektu, on Sept 20, 2018.PHOTO: AFP

SEOUL • South Korean President Moon Jae-in said yesterday he believed North Korea's Mr Kim Jong Un would soon meet the leaders of China and Russia as part of an ongoing diplomatic effort to reduce tensions on the Korean peninsula.

It comes a day after the North Korean leader agreed to hold a second summit with United States President Donald Trump "as early as possible", following a meeting with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Pyongyang.

"Separately from the second US-North Korea summit, Chairman Kim Jong Un's visit to Russia and President Xi Jinping's visit to North Korea are expected to take place soon," Mr Moon told a Cabinet meeting.

The possibility of a summit between Mr Kim and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is also "open", Mr Moon said, adding: "A new order is being created on the Korean peninsula."

Mr Kim and Mr Xi have met three times in China this year as the two countries seek to repair relations that have been frayed by tensions over the North's nuclear activities and Beijing's backing of United Nations sanctions against its Cold War-era ally.

The North Korean leader has yet to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has previously invited Mr Kim to Moscow.

Japan has historically taken a hard line on Pyongyang and stressed the need to maintain pressure on the regime. More recently, however, Mr Abe has expressed interest in a face-to-face meeting with Mr Kim.

Mr Moon also spoke positively about Mr Pompeo's meeting with Mr Kim on Sunday, saying it set up conditions that make possible another summit between Mr Kim and Mr Trump soon, and will help the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 09, 2018, with the headline 'Moon expects Kim to soon meet Chinese, Russian leaders'. Print Edition | Subscribe