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(LEAD) Moon-Biden meeting fails to materialize

Diplomacy 16:57 May 19, 2022

(ATTN: UPDATES with remarks by officials close to Moon in paras 4-6)

SEOUL, May 19 (Yonhap) -- An anticipated meeting between former South Korean President Moon Jae-in and U.S. President Joe Biden in Seoul this weekend failed to materialize, officials said Thursday.

Biden is scheduled to arrive in South Korea on Friday for a three-day visit and hold his first summit with South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol the following day. It was previously reported Moon may meet with Biden during his visit to Seoul.

But U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan denied the reports in a press briefing at the White House on Wednesday, saying, "We don't have a meeting scheduled with (former) President Moon at this time."

Those close to Moon said Biden's side notified them Thursday that it has become difficult to hold a meeting.

"The meeting was initially pursued at the suggestion of the White House. But the discussion has been put on hold due to the delayed confirmation of the South Korea-U.S. summit talks," according to one of them.

"Biden's side didn't give any specific reason. We also didn't ask for an explanation," he said.

Moon left office on May 9 after serving a five-year term and is now staying in his retirement home in the southeastern city of Yangsan.

ycm@yna.co.kr
(END)

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