Media: Moon Jae In expects to meet with Trump by April 15

The South Korean authorities intend to organize a summit with the American leader in the next two months, the Joseon Ilbo newspaper reported citing a government source.

“Cheonwade (the presidential administration) has recently informed the U.S. side at various levels about its desire to hold a bilateral summit. Given Donald Trump’s busy schedule in the presidential race, the prospects for the meeting are rather vague, but efforts are continuing”, –  the source said.

According to the newspaper, the recent visits to the U.S. by members of the South Korean president’s secretariat – second deputy head of the National Security Administration Kim Hyun-Jung and secretary for peace planning Choi Jong-Kong – are related to this. A similar request may be made by Foreign Minister Kang Gyeong-hwa at a meeting with State Department Head Mike Pompeo during the Munich Security Conference.

It was originally intended that the summit would announce the successful conclusion of negotiations on cost-sharing for joint defense, as well as changes in missile regulations restricting South Korea’s development of a certain range of ballistic missiles. However, given their prolongation, the summit will be used to try to find a final solution at the leadership level.

In addition, Moon Jae In needs to meet with the U.S. president to convince him not to abandon attempts to solve the problems of the Korean peninsula and to approve the implementation of inter-Korean projects to establish relations between DPRK and the U.S., the newspaper writes. But for Seoul, according to the publication, the very fact of holding a meeting on the eve of parliamentary elections in South Korea, scheduled for April 15, is also important.

“Summits usually lead to a simultaneous increase in support for both the president and the ruling party. The visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping, on which Cheonwade had hoped, will be difficult to conduct before the elections because of Wuhan’s pneumonia. The visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin to South Korea on the eve of the election is also quite problematic, so it is likely that the organization of the South Korean-American summit will be simultaneously worked out”, – a diplomatic source told Joseon Ilbo.