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(LEAD) N. Korea's Kim reaffirms pledge to denuclearize, willingness to meet Trump

All Headlines 10:41 May 27, 2018

(ATTN: UPDATES with more remarks, additional information, background)
By Byun Duk-kun

SEOUL, May 27 (Yonhap) -- North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has reaffirmed his willingness to denuclearize and hold a summit with U.S. President Donald Trump, South Korean President Moon Jae-in said Sunday.

"Chairman Kim Jong-un has once again clearly expressed his commitment to the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula following his pledge in the Panmunjom Declaration and expressed his willingness to end the history of war and confrontation through the success of the North Korea-U.S. summit," Moon said of his latest summit with the North Korean leader, held Saturday.

"We two leaders agreed the June 12 North Korea-U.S. summit must be successfully held," he told a nationally televised press conference.

The latest inter-Korean summit was held on the North Korean side of Panmunjom, a border village that sits directly on the Military Demarcation Line that divides the two Koreas. The first Moon-Kim summit was held on the South Korean side of Panmunjom on April 27.

The previously unannounced talks between the leaders of the divided Koreas came one day after Trump called off his scheduled summit with Kim, citing what he called the North's tremendous anger and open hostility toward his country.

"While explaining the outcome of my summit with U.S. President Trump held last week, I relayed the message that President Trump is firmly willing to end his country's hostile relationship with North Korea and enhance economic cooperation should Chairman Kim make a decision on complete denuclearization and implements it," Moon said.

The South Korean president visited Washington on Monday-Wednesday. He said his surprise meeting with Kim came at a suggestion from the North Korean leader, who on Friday expressed hope to meet for candid dialogue.

"Also, as both Chairman Kim and President Trump sincerely wish for the success of the North-U.S. summit, I stressed the need for the two sides to remove any misunderstanding through direct communication and to hold enough dialogue on agenda issues that need to be addressed at their summit," President Moon said, adding, "Chairman Kim also agreed."


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