Date
17 October 2018
US President Donald Trump and South Korean leader Moon Jae-in (seen here in a file photo from 2017) want to ensure that a planned North Korea-US summit remains on track. Photo: Reuters
US President Donald Trump and South Korean leader Moon Jae-in (seen here in a file photo from 2017) want to ensure that a planned North Korea-US summit remains on track. Photo: Reuters

S Korea, US to work closely on summit after Pyongyang threat

South Korean President Moon Jae-in and his American counterpart Donald Trump held discussions on Sunday to ensure that the North Korea-US summit remains on track after North Korea threatened to pull out of the high-level talks, Reuters reports.

Moon and Trump spoke over the phone for about 20 minutes, and exchanged views on Pyongyang’s recent reactions, the report said, citing South Korea’s presidential office.

“The two leaders will work closely and unwaveringly for the successful hosting of the North Korea- US summit set on June 12, including the upcoming South Korea-US summit,” an official was quoted as saying.

Moon and Trump are set to meet on Tuesday in Washington before North Korean leader Kim Jong-un meets with Trump on June 12 in Singapore.

Although a historic inter-Korean summit in late April raised hopes of reconciliation, North Korea showed a dramatic change in tone in recent days, Reuters noted.

North Korea’s chief negotiator Ri Son Gwon said on Thursday that the nation will not hold talks with South Korea unless their demands were met, taking issue with the US-South Korean air combat drills known as Max Thunder.

It came a day after it threatened to pull out of the summit with the United States.

Further dampening the mood, a spokesman for North Korea’s Red Cross Society demanded on Saturday that South Korea’s government should send North Korean female restaurant workers back to their home “without delay” to show the will to improve the inter-Korean ties.

A dozen North Korean restaurant workers came to South Korea in 2016 from China. North Korea had urged to send them back claiming they were abducted by the South, even though the South has said the 12 workers decided to defect of their own free will.

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RC

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