South Korea's Moon Jae In says 3-way summit with North, US possible

South Korean President Moon Jae In speaks during a Cabinet meeting at the presidential office in Seoul, South Korea on March 20, 2018.
South Korean President Moon Jae In speaks during a Cabinet meeting at the presidential office in Seoul, South Korea on March 20, 2018. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

SEOUL (REUTERS) - South Korean President Moon Jae-in said on Wednesday (March 21) a three-way summit with North Korea and the United States is possible and that talks should aim for an end to the nuclear threat on the Korean peninsula. 

Moon is planning a meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un next month after a flurry of diplomatic activity in Asia, Europe and the United States. 

US President Donald Trump has also said he would meet Kim by the end of May.

 “A North Korea-US summit would be a historic event in itself following an inter-Korean summit,” Moon said at the presidential Blue House in Seoul after a preparatory meeting for the inter-Korean summit. 

“Depending on the location, it could be even more dramatic. And depending on progress, it may lead to a three-way summit between the South, North and the United States,” he said. Seoul officials are considering the border truce village of Panmunjom, where Moon and Kim are set for a one-day meeting, as the venue for talks between not only Kim and Moon but also a possible three-way meeting. 

The rush of recent diplomatic contacts began in the lead-up to the Winter Olympics in South Korea last month and helped ease tensions on the Korean peninsula caused by North Korea’s pursuit of its nuclear and missile programmes in defiance of United Nations Security Council sanctions. 

 
 

Moon said the series of summits should aim for a “complete end” to the nuclear and peace issues on the Korean peninsula. He said he has a “clear goal and vision”, which is for the establishment of a lasting peace to replace the ceasefire signed at the end of the 1950-53 Korean war. 

It also includes the normalisation of North Korea-US relations, the development of inter-Korean ties, and economic cooperation involving Pyongyang and Washington, he said. 

“Whether the two Koreas live together or separately, we have to make it in a way that they prosper together and in peace, without interfering or causing damage to each other,” Moon said. 

A Blue House official also said South Korea was in discussion with China and Japan for a three-way summit in Tokyo in early May. 
The three countries have not held such a meeting since November 2015, with relations soured by historical and territorial tension.