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South Korea's president, called "Officious" by Kim Jong-un, still wants another summit



SEOUL, South Korea – President Moon Jae-in in Korea said on Monday that he wanted to meet again with North Korea's leader, Kim Jong-un, who made the appeal three days after Kim dismissed Moon's North-US mediation work as "officious" .

"Now is the time to start preparing seriously for an inter-Korean summit," said Mr. Moon. "As soon as the Nordic countries are ready, I hope that the two Koreas will be able to get together regardless of location and form and hold detailed and substantive talks on how to achieve further progress beyond the two previous summits between President Kim and President Trump."

Mr. The moon met Mr Kim three times last year to help pave the way for Kim's first summit with Mr Trump in Singapore in June and their second meeting in Hanoi, Vietnam, in late February. Mr. Moon has repeatedly argued that a nuclear disarmament agreement is possible and insists that Kim is willing to give up his weapons and focus on economic growth if Washington provides the right incentives.

But Mannes mediatorial role was recorded in doubt when the Hanoi summit suddenly ended without an agreement, and he has then struggled to claim its relevance. Despite Moon's optimism, both Mr. Trump and Kim in Hanoi found that their conditions for denuclear North Korea were too far apart for a compromise.

Mr. Kim also told lawmakers that he might consider meeting with Mr. Trump again, but only if Washington made a new proposal that his government could accept at the end of the year.

The Hanoi call collapsed after Kim demanded that the most bitter sanctions be lifted against the partial settlement of the country's nuclear program. Mr. Trump rejected Kim's offer as insufficient; The United States insists that it will not lift sanctions in the north without full, controllable nuclear power.

On Monday, Moon did not respond to Kim's characterization of his efforts as "officious".

Instead, he put a positive spread on Kim's speech, where the North Korean leader also expressed his "immeasurable determination, which was clarified before, to transform North-South bonds into sustainable and lasting reconciliation and cooperation."

Mr. The Moon expressed "high regard for President Kim's insignificant engagement" to consider a third summit with Trump. He even interpreted Kim's speech as explaining "his firm commitment to achieving nuclear weapons", although Kim did not use the word "denuclearization" in his address.

Mr. The moon said the dialogue was open and that peace on the Korean Peninsula was "a matter of survival" for South Koreans, and he defended his diplomatic role.

"As an architect of the peace process in the Korean Peninsula, we have done what we have to do and what we can do in a way that fits our status as the fate of the Korean peninsula," he said. "My government will not shrink from this responsibility Mr. Kim's speech, including his conditional will to meet Trump, has left room for Moon's engagement, analysts said. Mr. Moon has also benefited from North Korea's decision not to bring a military parade on Monday to mark the birthday of Kim Il-sung, Kim's late grandfather and founder of North Korea.