S. Korea’s Moon: Too Early to Be Optimistic on North

S. Korea’s Moon: Too Early to Be Optimistic on NorthS. Korea’s Moon: Too Early to Be Optimistic on North

South Korean President Moon Jae-in sounded a note of caution on Wednesday over the North’s offer of denuclearization talks, saying it was “too early to be optimistic”, even as US leader Donald Trump welcomed the development.

Trump welcomed Pyongyang’s breakthrough declaration—as relayed by Seoul—that it wanted to talk to the US and would not need nuclear weapons if its security was guaranteed as positive and apparently sincere, AFP reported.

Moon and Kim will sit down for a summit on the southern side of the Demilitarized Zone next month, Seoul said after its envoys returned from a historic trip to Pyongyang.

Kim said the North would halt provocative missile and nuclear tests while talks are under way, it added.

But Moon told party leaders, “We are only at the starting line and it’s too early to be optimistic.”

“Inter-Korean talks won’t be enough to achieve peace,” he said, stressing the importance of Seoul maintaining close co-operation with its security guarantor Washington and adding there would be no let-up in sanctions or pressure purely as a result of inter-Korean dialogue.

There have been two previous inter-Korean summits, in 2000 and 2007, both of them in Pyongyang—although it later emerged the North had been paid $500 million ahead of the first meeting, prompting critics to denounce it as a bribe.

Moon denied there had been any behind-the-scenes agreement with Pyongyang in return for it coming to the negotiating table, adding, “There will be no such a thing as a gift to the North.”


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