Moon, Trump hold frank, serious talks on N. Korea, alliance

South Korean President Moon Jae-in and U.S. President Donald Trump held "frank" and "serious" discussions during their dinner meeting Thursday on a wide range of issues surrounding the Korean Peninsula, including North Korea's nuclear and missile threats, a Seoul official said.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in (L) attends a dinner hosted by his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump at the White House on June 29, 2017. (Yonhap)
South Korean President Moon Jae-in (L) attends a dinner hosted by his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump at the White House on June 29, 2017. (Yonhap)

During their first-ever talks, the two leaders agreed to further develop their countries' alliance, vowing to denuclearize North Korea and establish peace on the peninsula based on their alliance, according to Yoon Young-chan, the chief press secretary of South Korea's presidential office Cheong Wa Dae. Reported by the Yonhap.

The preview to the leaders' official summit was held over a dinner hosted by Trump and his wife, Melania, at the White House for the visiting South Korean leader and his wife, Kim Jung-sook.

"Discussions between the two heads of state were very frank and serious, and many issues surrounding the Korean Peninsula were discussed," Yoon told a press briefing.

Trump said the many subjects included a "new trade deal" in a message posted on his Twitter account.

Yoon refused to elaborate, citing an agreement between the countries not to reveal details of the talks.

"The leaders of the two countries agreed to resolve the North Korean nuclear issue, establish peace on the Korean Peninsula and ensure the countries' economic development based on a strong Korea-U.S. alliance," he said.

Moon also highlighted the importance of the alliance, writing "Korea-U.S. alliance: a great journey towards peace and prosperity" in the White House visitor log upon his arrival at the U.S. presidential office, according to Cheong Wa Dae officials.

The dinner marked the first ever meeting of the two leaders, held on the eve of their official bilateral talks that were widely expected to focus on ways to strengthen the countries' alliance and contain provocative North Korea.

Seoul officials said forming a close, personal relationship between the leaders was also a key objective.

They said the U.S. has so far provided Moon with the highest formalities since his arrival here Wednesday, apparently reflecting the importance the U.S. and its president place on the Korea-U.S. alliance.

The first meeting between new South Korean and U.S. leaders ended after a brief, apparently unscheduled private meeting between the two, according to Cheong Wa Dae officials.

Yoon later said the dinner came to an end at around 7:50 p.m., but the entire meeting lasted another 15 minutes due to an impromptu invitation from Trump to his private space located on the third floor of the White House.

It marked the first time the U.S. president invited a foreign leader to his private space, Yoon said, quoting White House officials.