SEOUL, South Korean President Moon Jae-in stressed the need for a second U.S.-North Korea summit Tuesday, hours after the White House said North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has proposed such a meeting in a letter to U.S. President Donald Trump.
"Complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula is basically an issue that must be resolved through negotiations between the North and the United States," Moon said in a weekly Cabinet meeting at his office Cheong Wa Dae.
"But we cannot but work to mediate and promote (U.S.-North Korea dialogue) in the middle until talks and communication between the North and the U.S. become more active," he added.
Moon's remarks came ahead of his scheduled trip to Pyongyang next week for his third bilateral summit with the North Korean leader.
"President Trump, as well as Chairman Kim Jong-un, are asking me to play such a role," Moon said of the purpose of his North Korea trip from next Tuesday through Thursday.
Moon's scheduled trip follows a recent dispute in denuclearization talks between the U.S. and North Korea.
The communist North is said to be demanding early rewards for the denuclearization and disarmament steps it has taken so far that, according to its leader, include the dismantlement of the country's only nuclear and missile engine test sites.
Washington, on the other hand, has repeatedly vowed to maintain maximum sanctions against the North until it completely denuclearizes.
Moon called for sincere efforts on both sides to move the denuclearization efforts forward.
"North Korea must carry out its nuclear dismantlement, and the U.S. must create a (favorable) environment through corresponding measures," he said.
To this end, the South Korean leader called on the U.S. and North Korean leaders to meet again to make "bold decisions."
"Now, if we are to move up to a higher level, where we will dismantle the nuclear (arsenal) currently possessed by North Korea, we once again need bold ideas and decisions by the two leaders of North Korea and the United States," he said, according to Cheong Wa Dae pool reports.
Trump and Kim held their first meeting -- the first-ever U.S.-North Korea summit -- in Singapore on June 12.
"I certainly hope for an early resumption of sincere dialogue between the North and the U.S.," Moon added.
Meanwhile, the government approved a bill on the ratification of an inter-Korean agreement reached at the first Moon-Kim summit in the border village of Panmunjom on April 27.
Cheong Wa Dae spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom earlier said the ratification of the Panmunjom agreement may help ensure the success of the upcoming Moon-Kim summit in Pyongyang, while also accelerating the establishment of peace on the Korean Peninsula.
Kim earlier said the government bill would be submitted to the National Assembly immediately after its approval by the Cabinet.
The ruling and opposition parties, however, have agreed to review the bill on the ratification of the Panmunjom agreement after the upcoming inter-Korean summit.
Source: Yonhap News Agency