South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Thursday called for a second meeting between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump, even as talks between the two countries remained at standstill over Pyongyang's "slow" progress of denuclearisation.
Moon also spoke of Kim's proposed visit to Seoul, which was supposed to take place in December, but got shelved off due to unknown reasons. He believed that Kim's visit and the second meeting between the North Korean leader and Trump will "firmly solidify peace" in the Korean Peninsula.
"The second North Korea-United States summit that will take place soon and a reciprocal visit to Seoul by Chairman Kim Jong-un of North Korea will be other turning points that will firmly solidify peace in the Korean Peninsula," Moon was quoted by CNN as saying.
"We will not loosen our guard until the promise to denuclearise the Peninsula is kept, and peace is fully institutionalised," he added.
Moon said that the "path toward peace in the Korean Peninsula still continues to expand even at this moment, and it will speed up even more this year."
The South Korean President's comments came after Kim paid an unannounced three-day visit to Beijing, where he held talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping. Although, the details of the meeting were not disclosed, the Chinese Foreign Ministry stated that the two nations were making "joint efforts to uphold peace and stability in the Korean Peninsula."
Trump and Kim had met for the very first time in Singapore in June last year, where the two leaders agreed to take steps to ensure the communist country's complete dismantling of nuclear weapons programme and achieving denuclearisation.
Earlier this week, Trump said the US is mulling over a location to conduct the second meeting with Kim, adding that the latter spoke to him "indirectly." He reaffirmed that relations with North Korea were progressing at a good pace.
Even though engagements between Washington and Pyongyang reached new heights in 2018 with the unprecedented first meeting between the US President and Kim, the last few months of the year saw a stalemate in relations.
North Korea, on the one hand, has asked for corresponding measures by the US for its efforts towards denuclearisation. The US, on the other hand, has pushed for complete denuclearisation before a relaxation in sanctions.
Kim, in his New Year's speech, threatened that his country would have to "seek a new way" if the US "does not make good on its promises" with regard to denuclearisation and continued with its sanctions. (ANI)