South Korean President Moon Jae-in is calling for the United States and North Korea to 'make bold decisions' to achieve the goal of 'complete denuclearization' of the Korean peninsula.
During a meeting with his cabinet in Seoul Tuesday, President Moon said convincing the North to abandon its nuclear weapons program is 'an issue that should fundamentally be resolved through negotiations' between Washington and Pyongyang.
U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un signed an agreement during their historic summit in Singapore in June for the North to dismantle its nuclear program. But the two sides are at an impasse over the pace of North Korea ending its nuclear and missile development programs, prompting President Trump to cancel Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's trip to North Korea last month.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, left, greets North Korea's Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho as they prepare for a group photo at the 25th ASEAN Regional Forum Retreat in Singapore, Aug. 4, 2018.
Moon told his cabinet that Seoul must serve as an intermediary between the United States and the North 'until talks and communication...become more active,' adding that Trump and Kim have asked him to serve in this role.
The South Korean president's comments come a day after the White House said it has begun planning another summit between Kim Jong and President Trump, after Kim Jong Un sent a letter requesting a second meeting with the president.
Moon will fly to Pyongyang next week for his third summit with his North Korean counterpart. The three-day summit will focus on specific measures to achieve denuclearization.
During their first summit in April, Moon and Kim agreed to seek a formal end to 1950-53 Korean War, which ended with a truce rather than a peace treaty, leaving the sides in a technical state of war. But Washington is demanding that Pyongyang completely abandon its nuclear weapons program ahead of any formal peace deal, while North Korea wants the United States to remove all its troops from the Korean Peninsula.