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Moon looks to narrow gap between US, NK at summit with Trump

May 18, 2018 - 15:30 By Yonhap

South Korean President Moon Jae-in will try to use his summit with US President Donald Trump to broker a nuclear deal between the United States and North Korea, a presidential aide said Friday.

The meeting is scheduled for Tuesday in Washington, three weeks before the US president and North Korean leader Kim Jong-il hold their first summit in Singapore.

"We expect the upcoming summit to play a role as a bridge (between the US and North Korea) that will lead to the success of the North Korea-US summit as it comes three weeks before the North Korea-US summit," Nam Gwan-pyo, a deputy director of the presidential National Security Office, told reporters.

This compilation photo shows US President Donald Trump (left) and North Korea leader Kim Jong-un. (Reuters, Korea Summit Press Pool) (Yonhap)

The two are "expected to discuss ways to guarantee a bright future for the North when North Korea achieves complete denuclearization," the Cheong Wa Dae official added.

Moon is set to head for Washington late Monday (Seoul time). He will return home early Thursday after his two-day trip.

Moon's trip follows his historic summit with the North Korean leader at the border village of Panmunjom on April 27, in which the leaders of the divided Koreas agreed to pursue complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and also halt their countries' hostile acts against each other.

The Trump-Kim summit, set to be held June 12, is expected to set the terms for the North's denuclearization process.

Pyongyang has already offered to publicly dismantle its only known nuclear test site in northeastern Punggye-ri between May 23-25, inviting journalists from five countries -- South Korea, China, Russia, Britain and the US -- to witness the event.

However, the communist state also sought to up the ante for its giving up its nuclear program, saying it may have to reconsider the summit should the US insist on its unconditional and unilateral denuclearization.

Trump said in Washington that he never had the so-called Libya model for the North's denuclearization process in mind, saying Kim will be very happy with what he plans to propose at their upcoming summit if they do reach a deal there. (Yonhap)