FILE PHOTOS: (Left-Right) North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in (REUTERS)
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in will sit down at the border “truce village” of Panmunjom to discuss a range of issues, including Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons program.
Days before the upcoming summit, South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in said the North has expressed its commitment to “complete denuclearization” of the Korean peninsula and is not seeking conditions.
Moon also explained that the North has not attached any conditions that the US cannot accept, like the withdrawal of American troops from South Korea.
“Now, North Korea is expressing a will to seek a complete denuclearisation to the international society. Also, they are showing us a will to have dialogues,” said the South Korean president.
North Korea has defended its nuclear and missile programmes, which it pursues in defiance of UN Security Council resolutions, as a necessary deterrent against perceived US hostility.
The United States stations 28,500 troops in South Korea, a legacy of the 1950-53 Korean war.
North Korea has said over the years that it could consider giving up its nuclear arsenal if the United States will its troops from South Korea and withdrew its so-called nuclear umbrella of deterrence from South Korea and Japan.
However, in the latest development, Moon revealed that Pyongyang has expressed willingness to drop its demand that the United States withdraw troops stationed in the South in exchange for denuclearization.
This comes after President Donald Trump announced he is willing to leave the meeting with Kim if it falls short of his expectations. -Reuters