Korean president backs Trump’s “powerful” diplomacy to solve N.K. nuke

2017.06.30 16:48:29 | 2017.06.30 16:48:58

South Korean President Moon Jae-in and U.S. President Donald Trump have friendly talks at a dinner at the White House in Washington on Thursday, local time. [Photo by Lee Chung-woo]이미지 확대

South Korean President Moon Jae-in and U.S. President Donald Trump have friendly talks at a dinner at the White House in Washington on Thursday, local time. [Photo by Lee Chung-woo]

South Korean President Moon Jae-in expressed confidence in “powerful diplomacy” of his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump in making headway in the North Korean nuclear conundrum during his visit to the White House.

Moon on Thursday began a two-day summit schedule in Washington with a dinner banquet thrown by the hosts of White House.

“I as a Korean am hopeful from the fact that President Trump has placed North Korean nuclear problem as top priority,” Moon said during the dinner, according to an aide of the Blue House.

Moon described Trump as a man of actions and expressed “complete sympathy with his diplomacy based on strong power.” He did not specify what “powerful” diplomacy meant, but should be understood as show of support for Trump’s “maximum pressure and engagement” policy towards Pyongyang, the aide said.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in and his wife Kim Jung-sook pose with U.S. President Donald Trump and his wife Melania Trump at the White House in Washington on Thursday, local time. [Photo by Lee Chung-woo]이미지 확대

South Korean President Moon Jae-in and his wife Kim Jung-sook pose with U.S. President Donald Trump and his wife Melania Trump at the White House in Washington on Thursday, local time. [Photo by Lee Chung-woo]

Moon also told his counterpart that if he resolves North Korean nuclear issue, he would have done something no U.S. presidents had been successful.

While highlighting traditional alliance, Moon said he wished to work closely with Trump to “completely” solve the nuclear problem and establish lasting peace in the Korean Peninsula.

The dinner lasted for 125 minutes - longer than scheduled. It is the first couple dinner with foreign leaders at the White House since Trump came to office in January.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in and U.S. President Donald Trump have conversation at a welcome dinner at the White House in Washington on Thursday, local time. [Photo by Lee Chung-woo]이미지 확대

South Korean President Moon Jae-in and U.S. President Donald Trump have conversation at a welcome dinner at the White House in Washington on Thursday, local time. [Photo by Lee Chung-woo]

It is also the first presidential dinner attended by a Korean president in Washington in 6 years after former President Lee Myung-bak with his counterpart Barack Obama in 2011.

The environment for Moon’s visit so far has been amicable, according to sources. The two leaders on their first meeting shook hands for four seconds and expressed friendly gestures, confirming close Korea-U.S. ties.

By Kang Gye-man and Oh Soo-hyun

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