SEOUL – The foreign minister of South Korea and her counterpart in the United States have agreed to keep working for the upcoming summit between the North Korean leader and the US President despite North Korea threatening to cancel the meeting, the South Korean foreign ministry said on Wednesday.
According to the ministry, South Korea’s Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha spoke over the phone with the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday at the latter’s request after Pyongyang cancelled high-level talks with Seoul.
“The Minister and the Secretary agreed to continue close collaboration between the ROK and the US to make a success of the US-North Korea summit based on the accomplishments of the inter-Korean summit on April 27, and thereby achieve complete denuclearization and establish peace on the Korean Peninsula,” the ministry said in a press release.
The Republic of Korea (ROK) is South Korea’s formal name.
The discussion took place after North Korea said it was reconsidering its participation in the summit with the US due to Washington’s proposal that it should dismantle its nuclear program at once in exchange for economic incentives, in what it called the “Libya mode of nuclear abandonment.”
Pompeo told Kang that the US would continue to prepare for the US-North Korea summit, set to be held between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump on June 12 in Singapore.
Kang said her government was determined to implement the Panmunjom declaration, signed on April 27 between the two Koreas to achieve peace and denuclearization on the peninsula.
The South Korean minister also told Pompeo that Seoul had urged Pyongyang to restart dialogue as soon as possible after the North cancelled a high-level meeting with the South citing joint US-South Korea military drills.
The North Korean regime had said that the joint-air exercises being carried out by Seoul and Washington were a rehearsal for invading its territory and also endangered the Kim-Trump summit.
Pyongyang’s statements on Wednesday have come as a blow to three-month-long efforts to improve relations between North Korea and the international community and attempts to find a solution to the crisis on the Korean Peninsula.