SEOUL, Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon said Wednesday next month's summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un will turn out to be a "great success" that will help put a final end to the Cold War through lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula.
"The North Korea-U.S. summit on June 12 will achieve a great success," Lee said during a speech at a security forum hosted by a local newspaper. "If history says in the future that the Cold War ended completely through permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula, I believe the April 27 inter-Korean summit and the June 12 North Korea-U.S. summit will be given the biggest credits."
Trump and Kim are scheduled to meet in Sinagpore on June 12 in what would be the first-ever summit of two countries that fought against each other during the 1950-53 Korean War. The war ended in a truce and not a peace treaty, leaving the divided peninsula still technically at war.
Lee credited Trump for helping bring about a dramatic turnaround of the situation on the Korean Peninsula with his "wisdom and determination." He also expressed gratitude to the United Nations, China, Japan, Russia and other nations for their support for the peace process.
"The Republic of Korea will exercise courage and patience in dealing with and resolving issues remaining after the North-U.S. summit," Lee said. "We will consult and cooperate closely with the international community at every phase going forward."
Lee made no mention, however, of the North's last-minute decision to call off high-level talks with the South scheduled for later Wednesday. In announcing the decision, the North took issue with joint U.S.-South Korean military exercises the regime has long denounced as a rehearsal for invading the North.
The decision also cast doubts over the prospect of next month's Trump-Kim meeting, though Pyongyang is unlikely to call it off. The State Department also said it continues to plan for the summit despite the regime's threat to withdraw.
Source: Yonhap News Agency