WASHINGTON, June 29 (Korea Bizwire) – South Korean President Moon Jae-in and his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump were set to meet for the first time during a dinner hosted on Thursday, one day before they sit for official talks.
The South Korean president arrived here Wednesday on a four-day visit. Moon was set to begin the second day of his trip with a meeting with U.S. Congress leaders including the House and Senate speakers, according to officials form Seoul’s presidential office Cheong Wa Dae.
He will later attend a dinner hosted by the U.S. president and his wife Melania at the White House. It will mark the only the second dinner hosted at the White House by the new U.S. leader since he took office in January.
The dinner will also highlight the importance of the Korea-U.S. alliance, Cheong Wa Dae officials said earlier.
The Korea-U.S. summit follows a series of recent missile provocations by North Korea. The communist state staged five missile tests since the new South Korean leader came into office last month.
Seoul officials have noted the most urgent issue for Moon’s upcoming summit with Trump was to map out ways to rid North Korea of its nuclear weapons.
Their personal friendship may be a key to ensuring joint efforts and strengthening the countries’ alliance, they said.
“We hope the two heads of state will form a close relationship and trust, so they will establish a close consultative mechanism through telephone conversations whenever necessary, reciprocal visits and multilateral meetings,” Chung Eui-yong, the head of the presidential National Security Office, said earlier.
Moon and Trump will hold their first bilateral talks at the White House on Friday, immediately followed by an expanded summit that will include top officials from both countries.
“We expect the two leaders will hold frank discussions on the countries’ joint efforts to peacefully and fundamentally resolve the North Korean nuclear issue,” Chung said.