SEOUL - South Korean President Moon Jae In hopes US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will take "bold decisions" in their first meeting in Singapore on Tuesday (June 12), even though he acknowledges that denuclearisation of the North could be a "long process".
Mr Moon discussed the summit with Mr Trump in a 40-minute phone call on Monday, telling his US counterpart that South Koreans were praying for Mr Trump to "create a miraculous result" in the talks.
A successful summit would be a "great gift" to the whole world, Mr Moon was quoted as saying in a Blue House statement.
The Blue House is South Korea's presidential office and Mr Moon's comments came on the eve of the historic Trump-Kim summit in Singapore.
Mr Moon, in a meeting with key aides on Monday, said he hoped for a "significant agreement" at the summit to end hostile relations between the US and North Korea and kick-start the denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula.
"It was the bold determination of the two leaders, President Donald Trump and Chairman Kim Jong Un, that has enabled us to come this far," he said.
The South Korean leader was using Mr Kim's formal title of Chairman of the State Affairs Commission, North Korea's highest decision-making body.
Mr Moon noted that Mr Trump has "demonstrated his strong will" to resolve the North Korean nuclear crisis, and that Mr Kim has "shown his sincerity for the success of the summit and commitment to denuclearisation by taking decisive, proactive action". This included the destruction of the Punggye-ri nuclear test site in North Korea, added Mr Moon.
"I look forward to the two leaders' bold decisions to freely exchange what they want from each other so that the wish of people across the world for a new era on the Korean Peninsula could be realised," he said.
However, the South Korean leader cautioned that the deep-rooted hostility between the two sides and the nuclear issue could not be resolved through a single meeting between the two leaders.
He urged "sincere efforts" and cooperation among the US, the two Koreas and neighbouring countries, as well as a long-term approach towards denuclearisation that he said could take "one year, two years, or even longer".
President Moon also appealed for public support for concurrent efforts to improve inter-Korea relations. Military talks as well as discussions on humanitarian issues and sports exchanges were in the pipeline, he added.
"I ask the people to stand by us until the end so that we do not lose the conviction and determination that we are, under all circumstances, the key players on Korean Peninsula issues."