Politics, Asia - Pacific

South Korea: Moderation helped keep dialogue with North

South Korean president says US will remain important in northeast Asian peace, stability after peace with North Korea

Riyaz ul Khaliq   | 21.05.2019
South Korea: Moderation helped keep dialogue with North

ANKARA

The South Korean president said on Tuesday that the country's "moderate" response to recent North Korean missile tests helped sustain dialogue on the Korean peninsula.

At meeting with Korean and American military commanders in Seoul, Moon Jae-in said: "Seoul and Washington have kept the dialogue momentum alive by responding to Pyongyang's behavior in a calm and moderate voice," Yonhap reported.

Moon was referring to short-range ballistic missile launch by Pyongyang earlier this month that triggered reactions from Seoul and Tokyo but a guarded statement from Washington.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is seen to have hardened his stance after a failed summit in Hanoi, Vietnam last February when U.S. President Donald Trump walked out of the meeting saying he could not agree to all demands put forth by Pyongyang.

Moon today, however, referred to what he described "personal trust" between Trump and Kim.

Separately, Trump had said in a televised interview that Kim wanted to remove "only one or two" of the five nuclear sites in his country during their summit in Hanoi.

North Korea has been under tightening UN sanctions since 2006 when it performed its first test-firing in its nuclear weapons program.

"Even if peace is established on the Korean Peninsula with the power of the South Korea-U.S. alliance, the role of the alliance will remain important in the peace and stability of all of Northeast Asia," Moon added.

Some 26,000 U.S. troops have been stationed in South Korea since Korean War in 1950-1953.

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