Days after holding talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the White House, US President Donald Trump would now host his new South Korean counterpart Moon Jae-in for a dinner. “Tomorrow evening, the two will meet here at the White House, along with President Moon’s wife, Madam Kim. They will have cocktails and then a dinner together here at the State Dining Room,” a senior administration official told reporters giving a preview of the trip. North Korea and China are expected to dominate the talks between the two leaders in addition to bilateral and regional issues. Moon is scheduled to arrive in Washington on a three-day visit beginning today.
“This is really a chance for the two presidents, both of whom are fairly early in their terms…This will the first opportunity for the two presidents to meet face-to-face and really to reaffirm the US-South Korea alliance, which the president has spoken of as a linchpin of peace and security in the region,” said the senior administration official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
During the meeting, Trump would talk about American commitments and reaffirm his commitments to South Korea, especially in light of the very urgent threat posed by North Korea. “North Korea is going to be a major subject of conversation between the two; coordinating the two governments on our approach to the North Korea threat; and also talking on a range of other issues as well in the bilateral agreement, including trade,” the official said.
Responding to a question, the official said both the United States and S Korea share the same goal of complete dismantlement of North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs. “That is the hard challenge that we’ve been wrestling with for a couple of decades now. It’s the challenge that both of them have made clear that they are willing and capable of jointly coordinating on achieving that goal,” the official said. Trade deficit is another issue likely to figure up prominently in the talks between the two leaders.
Trump on Monday hosted Modi at the White House where he gave a guided tour of President’s residence quarters, including the Lincoln bedroom and showed him a copy of Lincoln’s famous Gettysburg address and the desk on which he wrote it.