Vivian Balakrishnan, South Korean foreign minister hold talks over Trump-Kim summit

Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan and his South Korean counterpart Kang Kyung Wha agreed to work together to ensure the success of the June 12 summit slated to take place in Singapore.
Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan and his South Korean counterpart Kang Kyung Wha agreed to work together to ensure the success of the June 12 summit slated to take place in Singapore.PHOTOS: MFA, AFP

SEOUL - Singapore's Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan and his South Korean counterpart Kang Kyung Wha held a phone conversation on Monday (June 4) over preparations for the upcoming summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, the South Korean Foreign Ministry said.

Ms Kang and Dr Balakrishnan agreed to work together to ensure the success of the June 12 summit slated to take place in Singapore, based on the shared understanding that the meeting will be a crucial opportunity for complete denuclearisation and lasting peace on the Korean peninsula, Yonhap news agency reported.

During the talks, Ms Kang took note of Singapore's support for the summit.

Dr Balakrishnan expressed the Singapore Government's gratitude to Seoul for sharing its experience related to preparations for past summits with Pyongyang, the ministry said.

The ministers also agreed on the need to continue the momentum for dialogue even after the Trump-Kim summit, Yonhap reported.

Last Friday, US Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim, a veteran diplomat and expert on North Korea, told Ms Kang that talks between the US and North Korea are heading in the right direction.

He held several rounds of summit preparatory talks with North Korean negotiators last week at the truce village of Panmunjom, on the fortified border between the two Koreas.

The discussions in Panmunjom have focused on possible agenda items for Mr Trump and Mr Kim, while meetings in Singapore are more focused on logistics, officials have said.

In a separate high-level meeting last Friday, officials from North and South Korea agreed to hold talks later this month on military issues and reunions of families separated by the 1950-53 Korean War, they said.