Korea's Moon still hopes to host Kim this year

Erika Holt
December 6, 2018

What Happened: U.S. President Donald Trump has said his summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will likely take place in January or February 2019 and that three locations are now under consideration, Reuters reported December 1.

Moon and his wife Kim Jung-sook are on their way home from the G20 summit in Argentina, where Washington reaffirmed its hardline on sanctions against North Korea.

South Korea's Moon has facilitated a series of high-level talks between the U.S. and North Korea, including a summit between Trump and Kim in June, and has met Kim three times this year.

New Zealand is active in the monitoring of United Nations sanctions against North Korea, deploying an Air Force P-3K2 plane to patrol global waters in North Asia for signs of vessels undertaking activities such as ship-to-ship transfers. "We have a good relationship with [North Korean dictator] Kim Jong-un".

South Korean President Moon Jae-in said on Tuesday (Dec 4) a visit to Seoul by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was "a possibility" and that such a trip would help to improve Pyongyang's relationship with the United States.

According to several Western media outlets, Trump told them aboard Air Force One after attending the Group of 20 (G20) summit that the meeting would occur early in 2019.

"There is absolutely no discord between South Korea and the U.S.in terms of the process of denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula and advancing inter-Korean relations."

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Trump says hopes to meet N.Korea’s Kim in January or February
Moon said he and Trump agreed during their meeting that Kim's trip to Seoul would play a "very positive role" in U.S. But both Moon and Trump say fears of war on the Korean Peninsula have eased sharply.

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Trump said earlier in October that his meeting with Kim would be held after the midterm Congressional elections, and the venue of his second meeting with Kim had been narrowed down to "three or four" locations.

Moon has met Kim three times this year.

They agreed on the need for "maintaining vigorous enforcement of existing sanctions to ensure the DPRK understands that denuclearization is the only path", Sanders said, using the North's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

Moon said that Seoul shares the same stance as Wellington in rejecting protectionism and defending free trade.

After their third meeting in North Korea's capital, Pyongyang, in September, Moon said Kim agreed to make a reciprocal visit to Seoul in 2018.

Moon's programme in Auckland includes a ceremony of welcome and a state lunch hosted by Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy at Government House, a wreath laying ceremony and tour of Auckland War Memorial Museum, and an engagement with the Korean community in Auckland.

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