WASHINGTON (AFP) - US President Donald Trump will host his new South Korean counterpart Moon Jae In at the White House late this month for talks on containing North Korea’s nuclear programme, described by Washington as a “clear and present danger".
“President Trump and President Moon will discuss ways to further strengthen the ironclad US-ROK (Republic of Korea) alliance” during the June 29-30 talks, a White House statement said on Tuesday (June 13).
The leaders will seek to “advance cooperation on economic and global issues” and “will also coordinate on North Korea-related issues, including countering the growing North Korean nuclear and missile threats”, it added.
The centre-left Korean leader, who was sworn in last month after a landslide election win, favours engagement with the North to bring it to the negotiating table, rather than the hardline stance taken by the conservative government of his ousted predecessor Park Geun Hye.
Pentagon chief Jim Mattis warned US lawmakers on Monday (June 12) that North Korea poses the most urgent threat to international peace and security.
In written testimony, Mattis said North Korea is increasing the pace and scope of a nuclear weapons programme that leader Kim Jong Un has stated will one day be capable of striking the United States.
“The most urgent and dangerous threat to peace and security is North Korea,” Mattis said.