According to Cheong Wa Dae, Moon and Pence will meet in Singapore, where the two are attending ASEAN-related meetings, on Thursday.
|President Moon Jae-in attends the Korea-ASEAN Summit meeting in Singapore on Wednesday. Yonhap|
“President Moon and Vice President Pence will hold a meeting in the morning of the 15th, and discuss issues such as denuclearization, establishment of peace and Korea-US relations,” Cheong Wa Dae spokesperson Kim Eui-kyeom said.
The meeting with Pence comes amid concerns that Seoul and Washington might be experiencing discord in their approaches to North Korea.
The US has reiterated that sanctions will remain in place, and urged concerned nations to maintain pressure on the North if there are no tangible denuclearization steps. Seoul, meanwhile, established a military agreement with the North to ease tensions, and is currently discussing improving road and rail networks.
The US’ position on the issue has been re-emphasized on a number of occasions by top US officials including Pence.
Ahead of traveling to Singapore, Pence met with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Tokyo, where the two agreed on the need to maintain pressure on North Korea,
Pence reiterated the point in a Twitter message posted after the meeting, saying that US, Japan and the world will accept nothing short of “final, fully verified denuclearization.”
In addition, the Center for Strategic and International Studies reported that North Korea may be hiding missile facilities, prompting speculation that Pyongyang is deceiving Seoul and Washington. Both South Korea and the US, however, downplayed the report saying that concerned organizations have been aware of the facility mentioned in the CSIS report.
The meeting with Xi will take place in Papua New Guinea on Saturday, on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit.
“(Moon) will hold a bilateral summit with Xi in the afternoon of 17th, and exchange views on matters of interest to the two countries, including improving Korea-China exchange and cooperation, denuclearization and the establishment of peace,” Kim said.
By Choi He-suk (firstname.lastname@example.org)