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South Korean president holds out hope third Trump-Kim summit will happen soon

/ 05:40 AM April 27, 2019

South Korea President Moon Jae-in meets with executives and editors of the Asia News Network on Thursday at the Blue House. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO/CHEONG WA DAE

SEOUL—South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Thursday expressed confidence that an agreement to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula could still be achieved in a third summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Moon told senior editors and executives of Asia News Network (ANN) that his government was ready to facilitate the next meeting between the US and North Korean leaders after the second summit in Hanoi in February ended without any agreement on nuclear disarmament and on easing tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

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Moon also told ANN that the prospect of inviting the North Korean leader to the 30th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean)-South Korean anniversary summit in November this year would have to be discussed with the Asean members.

He made the statements during a courtesy call of ANN executives and editors at the Blue House on Thursday, the eve of the news network’s 20th anniversary.

24 leading newspapers

ANN is an alliance of 24 leading English daily newspapers in 21 countries in Asia, including the Philippine Daily Inquirer, one of its founding members.

The South Korean leader acknowledged the global disappointment at the outcome of the Hanoi summit but said he was ready to work for a continuing dialogue with Kim and help facilitate another Trump-Kim summit.

“I will be ready and [am] looking forward to meeting Chairman Kim,” he said.

On the day Moon met with ANN members, Kim was visiting in Russia and had a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Moon said the three summits between South Korea and North Korea and the two summits between Trump and Kim greatly reduced tensions on the peninsula and increased the possibility of achieving nuclear disarmament and peace.

“We have seen remarkable changes in the last year. Just 18 months ago there was much tension on the peninsula and genuine concern about the outbreak of war,” he said.

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Complete denuclearization

“First of all, regarding the Korean Peninsula issue, we have been striving to improve both inter-Korean and US-North Korea relations, and we have been undertaking these efforts through diplomacy and dialogue, in order to achieve complete denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula and also establish permanent peace,” he added.

During his recent visit to Southeast Asia, Moon said Indonesian President Joko Widodo raised the possibility of inviting Kim to the Korea-Asean summit in November.

The meeting with Moon was among the highlights of ANN’s 20th anniversary, which is being commemorated in Seoul with a two-day meeting and activities of its executive board.

Exchanges through media

“Let me offer my congratulations [on] the 20th anniversary of ANN’s foundation, which has grown into a media association that truly represents the whole of Asia. In addition, I would like to convey my high regard for your erstwhile contributions toward promoting exchanges and cooperation in the Asian region through the media,” he said.

Moon also thanked ANN for conferring on him its Asian Person of the Year award last year and for allowing him to contribute an article on his trip to several Asean countries in March.

He hailed the important role of journalists in promoting peace and prosperity in the region.

“I believe that contributions and the role of journalists in the Asian region will be vital for us to be successful in these kind of endeavors,” Moon said.

“And if Korea is successful with our Korean Peninsula policies, as well as New Southern Policy and New Northern Policy, I am absolutely certain that the fruits of these policies will go beyond the Korean Peninsula, and it will contribute to peace and prosperity in the whole of Asia, as well as the Eurasian region,” he added.

The ANN officials were led by its chair, Chon Shi-yong, chief editorial writer of The Korea Herald which is hosting the ANN anniversary and conference; executive director Pana Janjirov, editor of The Nation of Thailand; and Christoph Grabitz, media program director of Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung and the executives from the 24 member dailies, including this writer.

Future direction

The ANN board members discussed the organization’s charter and future direction in meetings held at Lotte Hotel.

ANN members include Bangladesh’s The Daily Star, Bhutan’s Kuensel, Brunei’s Brunei Press, Cambodia’s The Phnom Phen Post and Ramsei Kampuchea, China’s China Daily, Taiwan’s The China Post, India’s DataLeads and The Statesman, Indonesia’s The Jakarta Post, Japan’s The Japan News, Laos’ Vientiane Times, Malaysia’s Sin Chew Daily and The Star Online, Mongolia’s Gogo Mongolia, Myanmar’s Eleven Media Group, Nepal’s The Kathmandu Post, Pakistan’s Dawn, the Philippines’ Philippine Daily Inquirer, Singapore’s The Straits Times, South Korea’s The Korea Herald, Sri Lanka’s The Island, Thailand’s The Nation and Vietnam’s Vietnam News.

The meeting was held in collaboration with Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung Media Programme Asia.

ANN also cosponsored the Asean-Korea Media Forum, a conference on the popular Hallyu, or K-pop Korean wave. Board members will also visit the Samsung Innovation Museum in Suwon, Gyeonggi province, as a part of a “Technology for Media” session on Friday.

To commemorate the 20th anniversary of its founding, ANN will host a Facebook live event on Street Food Asia from multiple locations in Asia to be held at 6:45 p.m. Seoul time.

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TAGS: ANN, Asia News Network, Kim Jong Un, Moon Jae-in, South Korean president, Summit, Trump
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