North Korea has denied claims made by South Korean President Moon Jae-in about “behind-the scenes talks” to schedule a third summit between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un.
Moon made the bold claim while speaking to several media agencies in Seoul on Wednesday. However a top official in NK’s Foreign Ministry, Kwon Jong Gun, accused the president of lying “to refurbish their image” and give the impression that South Korea is “mediating” a nuclear deal.
“If we have anything to liaise with the US, it will be simply done through the liaison channel already under operation between the DPRK and the US, and the negotiation, if any, will be held face to face between the DPRK and the US,” Kwon, director general of the Department of American Affairs at the Foreign Ministry, told state media on Thursday.
He added that no such engagement would “go through the South Korean authorities.”
Moon had claimed to be privy to Trump and Kim’s burgeoning relationship and told the press that “both sides have been engaged in dialogue in regard to a third summit.”
For his part, Trump told reporters on Wednesday that while he would not be meeting with Kim during his trip to Asia for the G20 summit, he “may be speaking with him in a different form.”
Peace negotiations broke down during the pair’s second summit in Hanoi last February. North Korea blamed the summit’s failure on Washington’s refusal to partially lift sanctions in exchange for additional assurances that Pyongyang would not conduct further long-range missile tests.