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Moon to brief Abe, Li on meeting with Kim

May 02,2018
The Blue House announced Tuesday that President Moon Jae-in will meet with China’s premier and Japan’s prime minister on May 9 to discuss the results of his summit with North Korea’s leader.

The meeting will be held in Tokyo and represents the first visit to Japan by a South Korean president in over six years. The last was made by Lee Myung-bak in December 2011. Moon’s immediate predecessor, Park Geun-hye, never made a trip to Japan.

“President Moon will explain the outcome of the inter-Korean summit and ways to achieve denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and enhance trilateral cooperation to ensure the establishment of permanent peace in the region,” said the Blue House’s spokesman, Kim Eui-kyeom.

During Moon’s meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un last Friday, the two leaders signed a declaration agreeing to work toward denuclearization and signing peace treaty to formally end the 1950-53 Korean War and close decades of hostility.

In Tokyo, President Moon is expected to share details of the summit with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and seek opinions from them. The three leaders could agree on common objectives to achieve with respect to the North’s denuclearization. They will also likely discuss an upcoming summit between Kim and U.S. President Donald Trump, for which a date and venue have yet to be determined.

Following the trilateral meeting, Moon is scheduled to have a bilateral meeting and luncheon with Abe to further discuss the North’s denuclearization and strengthening ties between Seoul and Tokyo.

President Moon and Prime Minister Abe had a 45-minute phone conversation on Sunday about the inter-Korean summit. Abe viewed the resulting Panmunjom Declaration highly, the Blue House said, for clarifying the commitment for “complete denuclearization.” During the phone conversation, Moon also relayed Kim’s message to Abe that he was willing to talk with the Japanese leader any time.

After the meeting in Tokyo, Moon is expected to fly to Washington to meet with Trump and brief him on the inter-Korean summit. The meeting could help Trump prepare for his summit with Kim, a first between a North Korean and American leader. Moon is expected to serve as a mediator trying to narrow the differences in position between Trump and Kim.

On Tuesday, Moon spent 30 minutes on the phone with Antonio Guterres, secretary general of the United Nations, and asked for the UN’s help in inspecting the closure of a nuclear test site in the North, the Blue House said. Last month, Kim said his country would shut down the Pungye-ri test site in the northern part of the country.

Moon also asked Guterres to send inspectors to the demilitarized zone on the inter-Korean border and certify its transition to a zone free of military weapons, one of the agreements made in the Panmunjom Declaration.

Guterres told Moon that the UN would cooperate on this matter, the Blue House said.

BY KANG JIN-KYU [kang.jinkyu@joongang.co.kr]