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(2nd LD) (US-NK summit) Trump reaffirms commitment to dialogue with N. Korea in talks with Moon

Diplomacy 20:41 February 28, 2019

(ATTN: UPDATES with more details, additional information, more background from 11th para; ADDS photos)
By Byun Duk-kun

SEOUL, Feb. 28 (Yonhap) -- U.S. President Donald Trump reaffirmed his commitment to resolving the North Korean nuclear issue through dialogue Thursday, hours after his second summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un ended without an agreement.

In a telephone conversation with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, the U.S. president also asked Moon to "actively" help mediate future dialogue with the North Korean leader.

"While expressing disappointment over the failure to reach an agreement in the summit, President Trump reaffirmed his determination to resolve the issue through dialogue with North Korea in the future," Moon's presidential office Cheong Wa Dae said of the phone conversation.

The Trump-Kim meeting in Hanoi was cut short, although the U.S. president said he and the North Korean leader both walked away in a good mood.

"Basically, they wanted the sanctions lifted in their entirety, but we couldn't do that," Trump told a press conference held earlier in the Vietnamese capital.

His call to the South Korean president was made from his Air Force One plane en route to the United States.

Cheong Wa Dae earlier expressed disappointment but said the U.S. and North Korean leaders have already made more progress than ever.

Trump asked Moon to help mediate future dialogue with the North.

"In addition, (Trump) asked President Moon to actively perform the role of a mediator that may entail talking with Chairman Kim and letting him know the outcome of his dialogue," the Cheong Wa Dae spokesman said in a press release.

"President Trump suggested they work closely together so North Korea would actively implement its denuclearization commitment," he added.

Moon and Kim have held three inter-Korean summits. The North Korean leader has also promised to visit Seoul to reciprocate Moon's September trip to Pyongyang for their third and latest meeting.

(2nd LD) (US-NK summit) Trump reaffirms commitment to dialogue with N. Korea in talks with Moon - 1

President Moon expressed hope for progress in the future.

"While saying he wished for President Trump's continued determination and efforts to end the world's last remaining Cold War conflict and confrontation on the Korean Peninsula, President Moon said we will do all we can under the close cooperation between South Korea and the U.S.," the spokesman said.

Moon suggested he and Trump meet in the near future to continue their discussions.

Trump agreed on the need to meet in person and suggested they have their meeting coordinated through diplomatic channels, according to the Cheong Wa Dae spokesman.


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