03 July 2017

News Story: S. Korea-U.S. summit brings mixed signals to President Moon Jae-in

SEOUL, July 1 (Xinhua) -- The first summit meeting in Washington between visiting South Korean President Moon Jae-in and U.S. President Donald Trump brought a "significant success" to the new South Korean leader, local media reports and experts said as the two leaders were in harmony to tackle Korean Peninsula nuclear issue.

The summit meeting, which lasted from Thursday to Friday local time, left some of issues unresolved, such as whether to renegotiate a 2012 free trade pact between the two countries and whether to increase the costs for U.S. forces stationed in South Korea.

"It was a significant success," Bong Young-shik, a research fellow at Yonsei Institute for North Korean studies in Seoul, told Xinhua Saturday, referring to the new South Korean leader's first face-to-face talks with the U.S. president since he took office on May 10.

According to the joint statement released after the bilateral meeting, Trump supported South Korea's "leading role" in fostering an environment for peaceful reunification of the Korean Peninsula.

Moon and Trump agreed that the door to dialogue with the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) remained open "under the right circumstances" and that sanctions on Pyongyang were a "tool of diplomacy" to bring the country back to the dialogue table.

The six-party talks to dismantle the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue, which involves the Korean Peninsula, China, the United States, Russia and Japan, have been suspended since late 2008.

The researcher at Yonsei Institute said President Moon delivered a message that he would pursue peace in his DPRK policy based on a firm security alliance with the United States, shrugging off concerns among the conservative bloc in South Korea and a part of U.S. experts and politicians that Moon may adhere solely to dialogue with the DPRK.

Read the full story at Xinhua