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Moon to deliver private letter from Kim Jong Un to Trump next week

President Donald J. Trump and President Moon Jae-in of the Republic of Korea at the United Nations General Assembly in 2017. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)
September 21, 2018

South Korean President Moon Jae-in is said to be carrying a personal, private letter from North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un that he will deliver to U.S. President Donald Trump when two meet on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly next week.

“There are things that the United States wants us to convey to North Korea, and on the other side there are also things that North Korea wants us to convey to the United States,” Moon said Thursday after returning to Seoul from Pyongyang, the Associated Press reported. “I will faithfully serve that role when I meet President Trump to facilitate dialogue between North Korea and the United States.”

Moon and Kim met this week for a 3-day inter-Korean summit, the third in four months, where they agreed to start the process of denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula and signed an agreement of North Korea’s reaffirmation for denuclearization.

Trump and Moon are said to be meeting next week sometime during the United Nations General Assembly, which takes place in New York City. Trump is going to chair the Security Council meeting on Iran.

Following their summit, South Korea announced Thursday that Kim wants to meet with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo very soon, and have a second summit with Trump, in order to accelerate and “speed up” the denuclearization process of the Korean Peninsula.

Pompeo had said Wednesday that the goal is for North Korea to denuclearize by 2012, and that he has invited North Korea’s foreign minister to meet in New York next week during United Nations General Assembly week, Reuters reported this week.

On Wednesday, Kim and Moon in North Korea signed a summit agreement saying North Korea will renew its process of denuclearization, to include shutting down one of the country’s major nuclear facilities and removing all nuclear weapons from the Korean Peninsula.

“The North has agreed to permanently shut down its Dongchang-ri missile engine testing facility and missile launch pad under the participation of experts from related countries,” and North Korea also agreed to permanently shut down the Yongbyon nuclear facility, “depending on the United States’ corresponding measures,” Moon said during a press conference in Pyongyang, South Korea’s Yonhap News reported Wednesday.

“The South and the North discussed denuclearization steps for the first time,” Moon added.

“The September declaration will open a higher level for the improvement in relations (between the South and the North) … and bring closer the era of peace and prosperity,” Kim said, Yonhap reported.

According to the joint agreement the two leaders signed, “The North expressed its willingness to continue taking additional steps, such as the permanent shutdown of the Yongbyon nuclear facility, should the United States take corresponding measures under the spirit of the June 12 North Korea-U.S. joint statement.”

Moon is expected to visit the United States later this month, and the White House has said that there is a second U.S.-North Korea summit between Trump and Kim in the works.