SEOUL: South Korea’s president said Wednesday he’s open to meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un if certain conditions are met, as he vowed to push for more talks and cooperation with the North to try to resolve the nuclear standoff.
President Moon Jae-in has previously floated the idea of talks with Kim, but prospects for an inter-Korean summit remain low. His latest comments came a day after the North agreed to send a delegation to next month’s Winter Olympics in South Korea and hold military talks on reducing animosity along their tense border — measures that Moon’s government has been seeking.
Moon said North Korea will face harsher international sanctions and pressure if it resorts to new provocations, adding that “denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula is the path to peace and our goal.”
Moon, a liberal who favors a peaceful, diplomatic solution to the nuclear issue, said he “keeps myself open to any meeting including a summit” with Kim if it could help improve inter-Korean ties and resolve the nuclear standoff. He said he will push for more talks and cooperation with North Korea for the same purpose.
“To have a summit, some conditions must be established. I think a certain level of success must be guaranteed,” Moon said.
US State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert welcomed Tuesday’s Korean talks, which she said were “aimed at ensuring a safe, secure and successful” Olympics. White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders also said the North’s decision to attend the games presents it with an opportunity to see the value of ending its isolation from the rest of the world.