SEOUL – South Korean President Moon Jae-in said he was moved while watching the live broadcast of the historic US-North Korea summit on Tuesday in Singapore, and expressed his desire to achieve the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.
Moon and his Cabinet delayed their meeting by 10 minutes so that they could watch live on television the historic handshake between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump at the start of their private meeting at the Capella Hotel in Singapore.
Moon and South Korean Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon were especially touched by the images.
“I guess the attention of all our people must currently be directed toward Singapore,” Moon said, adding “I too spent a sleepless night,” according to his speech at the beginning of the Cabinet meeting, published by the South Korean presidential office.
“I, along with all our people, sincerely hope that it will be a successful summit that will open a new era of complete denuclearization, peace and a new relationship between South Korea, North Korea and the United States,” Moon added.
The South Korean president, who has held two historic meetings with Kim Jong-un since April, has played a key role in mediating between North Korea and the US to get both countries to hold the summit on the expected date, which had been previously canceled due to the different stances of Pyongyang and Washington on denuclearization issues.
Moon noted in another speech on Monday that “the relationship of deep-rooted hostility and the North Korean nuclear issue cannot be resolved in one single action through a meeting between leaders.”
He stressed the need to work over the long term to boost inter-Korean ties and cooperate with neighboring countries such as China and Russia to achieve the complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.
The Trump-Kim summit on Tuesday in Singapore, which aims to address the possible denuclearization of the Pyongyang regime, marks the first of its kind after almost 70 years of confrontation following the 1950-53 Korean War and 25 years of failed negotiations over North Korea’s nuclear development program.