South Korea’s national security adviser Chung Eui-yong is currently staying the United States ahead of a landmark meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Chung secretly traveled to Washington D.C. to discuss with U.S. officials a “big deal” to build a peace regime and achieve a nuclear-free peninsula. As Washington expressed its commitment to achieving permanent, verifiable, irreversible dismantling of North Korea’s weapons of mass destruction programs, South Korean presidential office has taken on a job as a great peacemaker between the United States and North Korea.
“The U.S. National Security Council asked Chung to fly to Washington to discuss matters related to the summit,” South Korean presidential office Cheong Wa Dae told reporters on Friday. Chung departed for Washington D.C. on Thursday and will meet his U.S. counterpart John Bolton on Friday (local time).
Working-level officials from the United States and North Korea agreed in principle to swift complete denuclearization and closely coordinated a statement to be adopted in their first summit, there are still differences on the scope of complete denuclearization and subsequent compensation for the North’s actions, diplomatic sources say.
Some say Chung’s visit has been made to address the issue of a venue. Although Trump mentioned the border truce village of Panmunjom as a possible site for his meeting with Kim, some White House aides reportedly expressed skepticism about holding a much-anticipated meeting at Panmunjom, citing that “That would give too much credit for South Korean government.” The location of the summit is a small deal, a Cheong Wa Dae official said. “President Moon has already explained to President Trump advantages of Panmunjom as a meaningful venue for the summit,” he added. “We are waiting for Trump’s final decision, too.”