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Trump-Kim Summit

Trump 'in no rush' to see Pyongyang give up nuclear weapons

US president pursues phone diplomacy to prepare for Kim summit

U.S. President Donald Trump met with South Korean President Moon Jae-in on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York last year.    © Reuters

SEOUL/WASHINGTON -- President Donald Trump on Tuesday discussed inter-Korean economic cooperation with South Korean President Moon Jae-in ahead of his summit with Northern leader Kim Jong Un.

Trump also plans to speak with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Wednesday to confirm strategies for the meeting with Kim, scheduled for Feb. 27 and 28 in Vietnam.

In exchange for taking steps to abandon its nuclear program, Pyongyang has asked that South Korea reopen the jointly run Kaesong industrial park in the North, which it closed down three years ago after a Northern missile launch, and resume tourist travel to Mount Kumgang by South Koreans.

Seoul is prepared to resume inter-Korean economic cooperation as a "concession," Moon told Trump, according to South Korea's presidential Blue House. "We're determined to take up that role if President Trump asks, if that's the way to lessen the U.S. burden," he said.

Moon also told Trump that he hopes the summit "will provide a 'critical turning point' to accomplish complete denuclearization, a peace regime on the peninsula and development of [North Korea-U.S.] relations."

On the North's denuclearization, Trump told reporters Tuesday he is in no great hurry to see it happen. "I think I would like to see ultimately denuclearization of North Korea. I think we will see that ultimately. I have no pressing time schedule," he said. 

"As long as there's no testing, I'm in no rush. If there's testing, that's another deal."

Trump is scheduled to meet with Kim next week in Hanoi, in a sequel to their first meeting last year in Singapore.

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