S. Korean President, Ivanka Trump stress need for peace

ANI | Updated: Feb 23, 2018 22:34 IST

Seoul [South korea], Feb 23 (ANI): South Korean President Moon Jae-in in a meeting with Ivanka Trump, who is leading a US delegation to the closing of the PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games, on Friday reiterated the need to maintain the ongoing mood of dialogue and reconciliation between North and South Korea.

Ivanka Trump, however, differed with the President and stressed the need to continue putting maximum pressure on the communist state, Yonhap news agency reported.

"Active dialogue is being held between the South and the North amid the North's participation in the Olympics and this is greatly contributing to easing tension on the Korean Peninsula and improving the South-North relationship," Moon said, shortly after expressing gratitude for US President Donald Trump's support for the PyeongChang Olympic Games.

"I believe this too was possible because Trump strongly supports South-North Korean dialogue," he said.

Ivanka thanked Moon and his wife Kim Jung-sook for their warm welcome and hospitality but said her trip was partly aimed at reaffirming the allies' commitment to "maximum pressure" against the North.

"I thank you for hosting us all here tonight as we reaffirm our bonds of friendship, of cooperation, of partnership and reaffirm our commitment to our maximum pressure campaign to ensure the Korean Peninsula is denuclearised," Trump's daughter said.

In a separate meeting, the South Korean President said the allies' joint efforts to denuclearise North Korea have failed so far.

"While noting that the dialogue for the denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula and the dialogue process between the South and the North cannot go separate ways," Moon's Chief Press Secretary Yoon Young-chan told the media.

He also mentioned the "two tracks of dialogue must move forward side by side and that it is important for South Korea and the US to closely work together to that end".

"The country with the strongest determination to disallow North Korean nuclear weapons in South Korea. But the joint efforts of South Korea and the US to denuclearise the Korean Peninsula over the past 25 years have not succeeded," Moon told Ivanka.

Ivanka insisted the countries' maximum pressure campaign has led to positive outcomes, saying her country supports South Korea's efforts to put pressure on the North, according to Yoon.

Seoul and Pyongyang held three rounds of talks last month that eventually led to the North's decision to take part in the ongoing Winter Olympic Games in South Korea.

Moon has repeatedly stressed the need to build on the recent rapprochement between the two Koreas so they may spur a resumption of negotiations with the communist nation to peacefully end its nuclear ambition.

The White House earlier said Vice President Mike Pence was scheduled to meet North Korea's delegates to the opening ceremony of the PyeongChang Olympics in Seoul, but the North Koreans pulled out of the meeting at the last minute.

North Korea is sending another high-level delegation to the closing of the Olympic Games.

Ivanka apparently had no plans of meeting the North Korean delegation while here.

"We are very excited to attend the 2018 Winter Olympic Games to cheer for Team USA and to reaffirm our strong and enduring commitment with the people of the Republic of Korea," the special adviser to the US President said.(ANI)