SEOUL – South Korean President Moon Jae-in played down on Wednesday his optimism over North Korea’s offer of talks with the United States over its nuclear program and said the announcement was just a starting point toward denuclearization of the peninsula.
Moon had convened a meeting in Seoul with representatives of the five major political parties over North Korea’s announcement, where he stressed that his government was aiming for a complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.
“I believe it is still too early to be optimistic because we are only at the starting line,” Moon said, according to Yonhap news agency.
He also added that he has no plans yet of urging an easing of international sanctions against the North Korean regime.
The meeting comes a day after a South Korean delegation, following a meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, announced that the regime was ready for talks with the US for the first time in more than 10 years.
US President Donald Trump had responded to the offer with a mix of caution and optimism, and termed the offer as “sincere.”
The historic visit of the South Korean delegation had also resulted in an agreement for a summit of the leaders of the two Koreas – the third in history – to be held around the end of April, as well as the opening of a hotline between Moon Jae-in and Kim Jong-un to ease regional tensions.