Executive Intelligence Review


Significant Steps on U.S.-Inter-Korea Cooperation

Dec. 3, 2018 (EIRNS)—South Korean President Moon Jae-in spoke to the press after the G20, where he had held a half-hour meeting with President Donald Trump. President Moon spelled out significant agreements going forward. “President Trump said that if Chairman Kim [Jong-un] visits Seoul within the year,” Moon said,

“he wants me to convey the message that he holds a very positive view of Chairman Kim, that he likes Chairman Kim and hopes he will follow through on their remaining agreements. He also promised to achieve what Chairman Kim wishes.”

On relations with the North, Moon said:

“If you look at the trends so far, things are moving in a very positive direction. [Kim] has pledged to accept U.S. observers for the dismantlement of their nuclear and missile test sites, and he has promised to dismantle all nuclear facilities at Yongbyon if there are corresponding measures.”

Moon said that he and Trump agreed that the sanctions should not be lifted at this point (although the recent agreement to allow a train-crossing of the demilitarized zone to test the tracks in the North constituted an “exception” to the sanctions, which could be a precedent for future similar “exceptions”). Moon said that corresponding measures from the U.S. and South Korea to North Korean steps could be

“postponing or downscaling South Korea-U.S. military exercises, humanitarian aid, nonpolitical forms of exchange in areas like sports and art, preliminary research efforts for inter-Korean economic cooperation, and an end-of-war declaration as a political declaration.”

The South Korean daily Hankyoreh reported that Moon was angry about press reports claiming discord between the U.S. and South Korea. “U.S. President Donald Trump also holds a very positive view of the current situation,” he confirmed.

“There is absolutely no discord between South Korea and the U.S. in terms of the process of denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula and advancing inter-Korean relations.”

On the rail connections, Moon said:

“Actually beginning work and connecting [the railways] could be in violation of international sanctions. We’re considering having a launch ceremony in the sense of beginning work as opposed to actual construction. We also plan to hold ample discussions with the U.S. on that.”

Trump himself also said on Dec. 2 that the next U.S.-North Korea summit will be in January or February, and that “three sites are under consideration.”