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Spent a sleepless night: S Korean President

News Agencies | Updated on: 12 June 2018, 10:28 IST

Hours before the meeting between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un was to take place on Tuesday in Singapore's Capella Hotel, South Korean President Moon Jae-in said it was a "sleepless night" for him.

Speaking ahead of a weekly cabinet briefing, Moon added that he hoped that the North Korea-US summit would be a success and open a "new chapter" for establishing long-lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula.

"I, along with all our people, sincerely hope that it will be a successful summit that will open a new era of complete denuclearisation, peace and a new relationship between South Korea, North Korea, and the United States," Moon was quoted by Yonhap News Agency as saying.

The South Korean President and his cabinet ministers delayed their weekly briefing for over 10 minutes to watch Trump and Kim meet face-to-face at the Capella Hotel in Singapore, where the two leaders shook hands and exchanged pleasantries, as they posed for photos in front of a row of US and North Korean flags.

However, Moon noted that a single summit would not be sufficient for a successful denuclearisation.

"The deep-rooted hostile relationship and the North Korean nuclear issue cannot be resolved in one single action in a meeting between leaders. Even after the two leaders open the dialogue, we will need a long process that may take one year, two years or even longer to completely resolve the issues," Moon further said.

An official of the South Korean presidential office later said that US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will visit South Korea on Wednesday to brief Moon on the outcome of the US-North Korea summit, as per the report.

The South Korean President has expressed hope that he will hold a summit with Kim and Trump soon, in a bid to establish a permanent peace treaty to formally end the over six-decades-long Korean War.

The two Koreas technically remain at war as the Korean War ended with an armistice agreement and not a peace treaty.

Earlier, Moon in an unexpected telephonic conversation with Trump, expressed hope regarding the US-North Korea summit, saying a successful summit would be a birthday gift for the US President.

As reported by the Strait Times, he further said that it was only the beginning of what was likely to be a years-long process of denuclearising North Korea.

The summit between Trump and Kim is underway in Singapore where the former said his one-on-one meeting with Kim was 'very, very good' and they have an 'excellent relationship'.

On the other hand, Kim said he is willing to work in close cooperation with Trump.
Both leaders then held an extended bilateral meeting, and have now begun their working lunch.



First published: 12 June 2018, 10:28 IST