South Korean President Moon Jae In met with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday and praised the first-ever U.S.-North Korea summit this week for freeing the world from fears of war.
“The most important achievement of the summit is that not only Americans, Japanese and Koreans but also people in the whole world are now free from the threats of war, nuclear weapons and long-range missiles,” Moon said in the meeting in Seoul.
Moon said the unprecedented summit, held Tuesday in Singapore between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, was “truly a historic feat” and moved the world toward an era of peace and prosperity.
Moon was also quoted by his office as telling Pompeo that skepticism from some experts fails to acknowledge the reality that most of the South Korean public welcomes the outcome of the summit.
Pompeo praised Moon’s efforts, saying a successful summit between Moon and Kim earlier this year served as a great stepping stone for the first summit between a sitting U.S. president and a North Korean leader.
At Tuesday’s summit, Kim committed to “complete” denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, while Trump pledged to provide security guarantees to Pyongyang.
Besides North Korea’s denuclearization, attention has been paid to how South Korea would assess Trump’s abrupt announcement after the summit that he will be suspending “war games” with South Korea for as long as North Korea continues denuclearization talks in a sincere manner.
On Wednesday, Kim Eui Kyeom, a spokesman of Moon’s office, said there was still a need to figure out what Trump actually meant by his comments at his solo post-summit press conference.
During Moon’s meeting with Pompeo, both sides exchanged opinions on South Korea’s joint military drills with the United States, the presidential office said, without providing details.
North Korea has long demanded that the United States and South Korea stop conducting joint military exercises, which it regards as a rehearsal for invasion.
“Under the circumstances that we are negotiating a very comprehensive, complete deal, I think it’s inappropriate to be having war games,” Trump said at his press conference.
Pompeo arrived Wednesday in Seoul to meet Moon, as well as his South Korean and Japanese counterparts, to brief them on the outcome of the summit. Later in the day he flew to Beijing to provide a similar briefing to the Chinese leadership.