Seoul: South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s special envoys headed to China and Japan on Monday to brief their leaders on the outcome of their historic visit to North Korea. Chung Eui-yong, President Moon’s top security advisor, returned from Washington D.C. on Sunday after completing a successful two-day visit to the US capital. He will now embark on a two-day trip to Beijing in China, where he is likely to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping.
South Korea’s National Intelligence Service chief Suh Hoon, will also visit Japan later on Monday, where he is scheduled to meet Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Tuesday.
In a major breakthrough, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and the South Korean envoys agreed to hold an inter-Korean summit late next month, in exchange with the former’s willingness to abandon nuclear weapons for a security guarantee last week, according to Chung.
The North Korean leader hosted a special welcome dinner for the envoys at the headquarters of the ruling Worker’s Party in Pyongyang. It was also the first time that a leader from North Korea met with South Korean dignitaries till date.
The US-North Korea politics took a dramatic turn on Friday when Kim invited US President Donald Trump for a meeting, and the latter duly accepted to meet by May.
However, President Trump stated that sanctions on North Korea would remain in place until the Communist country achieved denuclearisation in the Korean Peninsula.
A senior US official said North Korea offered to suspend their nuclear missile testing alongside their invitation for talks. The official also said that there were no plans to suspend the upcoming planned military exercises with South Korea.
“We have been able to reach an agreement for a South-North summit in late April, thanks to our people’s support, and it appears a summit meeting between the United States and North Korea may be held as well,” Chung was quoted by Yonhap as saying after returning from the US.
“I wish to express my respect to President Moon Jae-in and President Trump and their firm determination to denuclearise the Korean Peninsula at an early date and establish peace,” he added.
Chung is also scheduled to visit Russia on Tuesday. He is likely to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin to brief him on the outcome of the North Korea trip, according to officials of the South Korean presidential house, Cheong Wa Dae or Blue House.