South Korean President Moon Jae-in is reiterating his call for a lifting of the U.N. sanctions on North Korea during his state visit to Europe. He is going to ask European countries to cooperate for complete denuclearization of North Korea and establishment of a peace regime on the Korean Peninsula.
Still, U.S. President Donald Trump stressed the sanctions on the North could be lifted only after the North implemented measures for denuclearization. Under the circumstances, some experts point out the possibility of cracks in the alliance between Washington and Seoul.
On October 14 (local time), the South Korean president had an interview with Le Figaro before his summit meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron. There, he said he believed that lifting the sanctions could be discussed in the near future on condition that denuclearization showed some progress. He made the same remarks in his earlier interview with BBC, too. His stance is somewhat different from what the U.S. is insisting on.
The South Korean president has reportedly made elaborate preparations for the summit meeting as it is a starting point for his efforts to persuade the international community to lift the sanctions against North Korea. The global atmosphere can change once support is given by France, a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council. Of its five members, Russia and China are already against the sanctions.
President Moon is scheduled to meet Pope Francis on October 18. During the meeting, an invitation message from North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is likely to be delivered to the pope by the South Korean president as a way of showing to the international community the North Korean leader’s will to deneuclearize and achieve peace.