SEOUL, The most important outcome of this week's talks between President Moon Jae-in and U.S. President Donald Trump was that the meeting helped put the sputtering denuclearization negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang back on the right track, a senior presidential official said Thursday.
Moon and Trump met bilaterally Monday (local time) in New York on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly. Their talks came just days after Moon held his third summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in an effort to help break the impasse in the negotiations between the United States and the North.
Moon briefed Trump on the outcome of his talks with the North's Kim, and the two leaders discussed ways forward, including what measures the U.S. could take in response to the North's denuclearization steps and how to declare an end to the Korean War.
"The most important achievement (of Moon's talks with Trump) is that the dialogue between the North and the U.S., which had been losing steam, got back on the right track," the senior official told reporters on background.
"The deadlock between the U.S. and the North was about whether there's going to be substantial progress in the North's denuclearization. President Moon held candid discussions with Chairman Kim Jong-un on this and delivered a message (from Kim) to the U.S., which kick-started substantial discussions on denuclearization methods," the official said.
The official, however, declined to comment on foreign news reports that Trump refused to set a timeline for the North's denuclearization and said it won't matter whether it takes two years, three years or five months to complete the process.
Asked if there is any possibility of President Moon speaking with the North's leader via the hotline, the official said nothing has been scheduled and that it doesn't appear to be the right time to deliver a message directly to the North because the North's foreign minister held talks with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
Source: Yonhap News Agency