Jefferson Morley | June 24, 2019
Moon Rising: Trump and Kim Letters Revive Hope for Denuclearization Talks
Maybe the U.S.-Korea denuclearization talks aren’t dead after all. President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un have exchanged friendly letters and Trump is headed to South Korea for a visit.
These developments are boost for South Korean president Moon Jae-in who has facilitated the on-again, off-again negotiations of the two mercurial leaders.
With talks stalled, tension mounted last month when the North test-fired a series of short-range ballistic missiles, though Trump and South Korea both played down the tests. One June 11, Trump said he had received a very warm, “beautiful” letter from Kim, adding he thought something positive would happen. North Korea’s state news agency KCNA said on Sunday Kim had received a letter from Trump, which he described as being “of excellent content”, but did not disclose any details.
Moon while often ignored in Washington, has worked with director of national intelligence Dan Coats and Trump himself, to keep the talks from breaking down. Moon has staked his presidency on an ambitious agenda of formally ending the Korean war and eventually removing all nuclear weapons from the peninsula.
Moon wants to meet with Kim before Trump arrives, according to South Koreans Yonhap News agency.