Less than a week left before President Moon Jae-in heads to Pyeongyang for his third encounter with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un -- and a call for big moves by the regional players.
Chairing his weekly meeting with the Cabinet, President Moon said the leaders of North Korea and the U.S. need to hold a second summit themselves, and he asked both parties to make "bold decisions."
"To move diplomacy forward and have North Korea dismantle its nuclear arsenal, the leaders of both North Korea and the U.S. should make bold decisions. The complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula is an issue that must be resolved through talks between the North Korea and the U.S."
( , )
And the President said he will continue to act as a mediator between the two, a role he said both Kim Jong-un and President Trump have asked him to play.
He added that Pyeongyang needs to follow through on dismantling its nuclear facilities and Washington needs to take corresponding steps, and when that happens the two sides must put aside their deep-rooted distrust embedded between them since 70 years ago.
Internally, the Moon administration is doing its best to accelerate the denuclearization drive.
The government has finalized a bill on ratifying the inter-Korean agreement reached in April that it plans to submit to the parliament, and efforts continue to bring lawmakers with the President on his trip to the North.
Despite lawmakers being sharply divided over the trip, the top office says it plans to bring along those who do want to go.
"The big unknown is whether the summit next week will lead to another "big step" towards a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula, as President Moon had said
since the administration has yet to win bipartisan support for its diplomacy with the North.
Shin Se-min, Arirang News."