Muslim Times(Web Desk) – South Korean President Moon Jae-in says he has been “convinced” that the North’s leader is sincere in his bid to abandon nuclear arms, urging the world community to end its “mistrust” of Kim Jong-un and reward him, instead, for his peace efforts.
Moon told French newspaper Le Figaro in an interview published on Monday that he had found Kim “sincere, calm and polite” during their recent meetings.
“This year I have discussed in depth with Kim for hours. These meetings have convinced me that he has taken the strategic decision to abandon his nuclear weapon,” Moon said.
Pyongyang stopped its internationally-criticized nuclear and missile tests this year as part of an agreement signed between Kim and United States President Donald Trump during a historic summit in Singapore in June. During those talks, the two sides agreed on the need for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
That summit was followed by three meetings between Kim and Moon.
Over the past months, talks have been under way between Washington and Pyongyang, but the dialog has achieved little progress, with US sanctions against Pyongyang remaining in force despite Pyongyang’s measures towards denuclearization.
Contrary to that process, negotiations between the two Koreas have been fruitful. The two Korean leaders, during their latest summit in September, agreed to restart economic cooperation, including re-linking railways and roads.
North Korea also said it would permanently abolish key missile facilities in the presence of foreign experts.
The two Koreas also inked a military deal aimed at decreasing tensions at their border.
Washington has voiced concerns over the rapid pace of the détente between the two neighbors, saying this could be outpacing negotiations to dismantle North Korea’s nuclear and missile program.
Moon further told Le Figaro that Kim “felt frustrated by the international community’s continuing mistrust.”
“We need to assure Kim Jong-un that he took the right decision in deciding to denuclearize and we need to accompany him in his wish for a durable and solid peace,” Moon said.
Media sources, citing a transcript of the Le Figaro interview distributed by his presidential office stated that Moon, pointed out that North Korea’s economy was in such dire straits that Pyongyang could not afford to return to its old missile and nuclear development programs, even if it wanted to.
Despite these facts, in order to move forward with the peace negotiations, Moon said, it is required to make a formal declaration of an end to the 1953 Korean War, which ended with an armistice instead of a peace treaty, effectively leaving the two Koreas in a state of war.
“Declaring an end to the Korea war would be a start to establishing a regime of peace,” he said, also calling for the United States to take “reliable corresponding measures to guarantee the security of the regime.”
“We could also in the future discuss the easing of sanctions, in accordance with progress on denuclearization,” he added.