U.S. President Donald Trump in favor of resuming inter-Korean economic cooperation

Kevin Tanner, Feb. 20, 2019, 9:38 a.m.


U.S. President Donald Trump reacted positively to the possibility of resuming inter-Korean economic cooperation as a way of rewarding North Korea for its denuclearization steps, an official from Seoul's presidential office Cheong Wa Dae said Wednesday.

The assessment came one day after South Korean President Moon Jae-in offered to resume economic cooperation with North Korea as part of "corresponding measures" for the North's denuclearization steps in a telephone conversation with the U.S. leader.

"President Trump's reaction was positive," Cheong Wa Dae spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom said when asked.

The spokesman also said Moon's offer was aimed at adding to Trump's bargaining chips.

The U.S. president is set to hold his second meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Hanoi next week. The two first met in Singapore in June.

The denuclearization talks between the United States and North Korea have largely stalled amid Pyongyang's demand for corresponding measures.

"President Trump has to take some corresponding measures for North Korea's denuclearization steps, and to President Trump, it would be better if he had more cards to play. I understood (President Moon's offer) was to say he could help increase the number of cards President Trump can use," the Cheong Wa Dae spokesman told a press briefing.

Moon earlier said his country's economic cooperation with the North would only resume after international sanctions against the North are removed.

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