President Moon Jae-in is pressuring Donald Trump and North Korean commander Kim Jong Un to reach a nuclear decision following the NATO summit. Moon voiced his concerns about the progress of their promises at a forum in Singapore on Friday.
Trump and Kim agreed to work towards the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula in June, but did not give any specifics on how they planned to do so.
The North Korean leader said that both will have to face international judgment if they fail to keep the commitments made last month, the Associated Press reports.
“Both leaders have made a promise in front of the international community, so while there could be twists and turns during the working-level negotiations, I think the leaders ultimately will be able to keep their promise,” Moon said at the forum. “If the leaders don’t keep the promise they directly made in front of the international community, they would face the stern judgement of the international community.”
Washington has been accused of being “gangster-like” in their requests during negotiation talks between U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and North Korean officials. Pyongyang has been vying for denuclearization for years, but his vision includes removing the 28,500 American troops from South Korea as well as the nuclear blanket Washington has placed over Japan.
Pyongyang has clearly said it will continue to pursue nuclear development in South Korea until his terms are met. Both sides have doubts that Kim will ever let go of his nuclear weapons, which he reportedly views as essential to South Korea’s survival. His approach to international nuclear policies has been intense in recent months.
Moon has always been adamant about capitalizing on the liberal heritage of former leaders Kim Tae-jung and Roh Moo-hyun. He was born to North Korean war refugees and helped to implement their revolutionary “Sunshine Policy,” which presented the country with a ladder to its nuclear goals. The “Sunshine Policy” was put in place during two summits in 2000 and 2007 following some economic persuasion.
Despite the hold-up, Moon remains optimistic and said, “During the working-level negotiations, there could be debates on whether the chicken or the egg should come first, and the countries could also go through a number of different phases.”
He believes that Washington and official Pyongyang are in the process of reaching a comprise between the two countries that will include North Korea disarming their nuclear weapons if the U.S. will agree to protect them.