UPDATE : 2019.8.22 THU 10:17
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Moon: N.K. leader sent 'very interesting' message to Trump via letter

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un sent a "very interesting" message to U.S. President Donald Trump in his latest personal letter, South Korean President Moon Jae-in said Thursday.

Speaking after a summit here with Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg, Moon also reaffirmed his willingness to hold another meeting with Kim regardless of its timing, venue and formality.

Moon earlier said he was briefed by the U.S. side on the outline of the letter's contents. Trump described it as "beautiful" and "very warm, nice," as it was apparently sent on the occasion of the first anniversary of their Singapore summit.

"There's a very interesting part that President Trump did not announce," Moon said during a joint press conference with Solberg.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in (L) shakes hands with Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg after a post-summit joint press conference in Oslo on June 13, 2019.

He refused to reveal more than what Trump said, however.

Moon stressed that he's ready to meet again with the North Korean leader at any time.

"Accordingly, the timing is up to Chairman Kim," he said.

As to his stated hope for holding the fourth summit with Kim before Trump visits South Korea at the end of this month, Moon said it's not "physically impossible."

He said the two sides had an experience of holding such a summit after a short period of consultations and preparations.

Regarding the tumultuous Korean peace process, the president emphasized that "substantive progress" in denuclearization is the key despite some eased military tensions between the two Koreas.

"The Demilitarized Zone dividing the Korean Peninsula is being transformed into a peace zone. At the same time, humanitarian exchanges and support will continue," he said.

In order for inter-Korean ties to develop in earnest, however, various economic cooperation projects are necessary, including the reopening of the Kaesong Industrial Complex, the president said.

For that, international sanctions on North Korea should be lifted, the precondition for which is substantial progress in denuclearization, he added.

The Norwegian prime minister agreed that North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile programs are a potential "destabilizing factor" in regional and global security.

That's why security situations on the Korean Peninsula are a focus of global attention, she said.

Solberg added that she and Moon agreed that the denuclearization of Korea is an "extremely important" goal not only for the region but also for the whole world. (Yonhap)

Cho Kyung-hee  edt@koreapost.com

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