Washington D.C. – President Trump welcomed President Moon Jae-in of the Republic of Korea (ROK) on 11th April 2019, Thursday at the White House. President Moon arrived in Washington D.C. an evening before at 5.17 p.m. and stayed at the Blair House, located in front of the White House.
President Moon before going to the White House, in the morning held meetings with Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary Pompeo at the Blair House. Later in the day, President Moon arrived at the White House from South Portico entrance along with his wife. He was greeted by President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump.
This was first meeting with the pivotal regional ally, since February 2019, when President Trump’s second summit with Kim in Vietnam failed to make any progress towards getting Pyongyang to give up its nuclear arsenal. However, 11th April 2019, marked Moon’s third meeting in the oval office with Trump and was held in a friendly atmosphere, where Moon was seeing smiling all the time.
Responding to one of the questions by a reporter in the Oval Office, Moon said he does not view the Hanoi summit as a failure, but part of a “bigger process leading to a bigger agreement” with the North Korea. President Trump nodded as Moon’s translator said those words. Moon also said he agrees with Trump on the “ultimate goal” of total denuclearization by North Korea.
Moon faces increasing pressure at home to deliver results from his engagement with North Korea. His approval ratings, which had risen above 80% after he brokered the first Trump-Kim summit in Singapore last June, fell to 45% in March 2019.
On the question of sanctions on North Korea, President Trump responded by saying he wants “sanctions to remain in place as talks continue.”
Trump said that as “there are various deals that could happen and things could happen. You could work out step-by-step – but at this moment, we are talking about the big deal and “the big deal is we have to get rid the nuclear weapons.”
President Trump and President Moon discussed a range of matters, including the latest developments regarding North Korea. Trump said that he knew that the Republic of Korea has become a tremendous successful nation and will remain a faithful ally in the long run for the United States.
Trump and Moon have made clear that North Korea should follow upon its commitment to final, fully verified denuclearization. The ROK has been a vital partner in developing negotiations with Chairman Kim Jong Un.
Trump reiterated his belief that North Korea would flourish economically if it agreed to a deal to abolish its nuclear weapons program. “I think North Korea has potential as great as anything, I have ever seen,” he said.
POTUS said he believed “a lot of tremendous things will happen with North Korea,” but over time. He said he and President Moon will be discussing additional meetings with Kim Jong Un. In spite of Kim’s threat for another ballistic missile test, Trump extended “warmest wishes” to Kim and the North Korean people, thus surprising his critics on his friendly, warm gesture.
Under President Trump, the United States and the ROK have worked to further economic ties and jointly pursue peace on the Korean Peninsula. President Trump has worked closely with the President Moon to “advance peace and denuclearize North Korea.” He reiterated that together the two countries have built an ironclad alliance based on shared values of democracy, human rights and the rule of law.
The alliance between the United States and Republic of Korea have worked to further economic ties and jointly pursue peace on the Korean Peninsula. Since 2017, Trump has worked diligently to improve and balance the trade relationship between the United States and the ROK, with dozens of companies announcing billions of dollars in investment projects that created thousands of jobs in the United States, as well as planned purchases of American goods.
Last year, Trump and Moon welcomed significant improvements to the United States-Korea Free Trade Agreement. The updated deal secured key improvements that preserve and grow jobs in America’s auto industry. Now, the world awaits, how President Trump will broker a deal with North Korea on “denuclearization” and yet maintain cordial relations with the Republic of Korea.
Exclusive News Report By:
Kanwal Abidi – White House Correspondent & Bureau Chief, Washington D.C.