President Moon Jae-in is heading to New York on Sunday to deliver his speech at the United Nations General Assembly but nothing has been decided on bilateral meetings, including a possible summit with US President Joe Biden, a senior Cheong Wa Dae official said Monday.
The president plans to visit New York and Honolulu during his five-day trip to the US. This will be his fifth attendance at the annual General Assembly, a diplomatic mega event that convenes Sept. 21 for two weeks.
Moon plans to deliver a keynote speech at the general gathering and to attend a separate session for the Sustainable Development Goals. Bilateral meetings with foreign heads of state are also expected to be arranged on the sidelines of the event.
Asked if the president had plans to hold a summit with the US president, the official said, “Nothing has been decided yet on his bilateral meetings during the visit.”
In 2019 when Moon visited the US for the UN gathering, he held a summit with then-President Donald Trump. Last year, he attended the event through video link as it was held almost entirely virtually because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“In celebration of the 30th anniversary of South and North Korea winning UN membership together, Moon will renew his commitment to peace efforts on the Korean Peninsula and ask for support from the international community,” the official said.
Given the symbolic meaning behind this year’s event, Cheong Wa Dae had hoped to arrange a joint event with Pyongyang at the UN gathering. But the efforts appeared to be futile attempts, with no response from North Korea.
Amid tensions growing between the two Koreas, fueled by a fresh sign of the North restarting its nuclear activity, Moon is expected to reiterate his will to revive the stalled diplomacy with the reclusive regime in his speech.
Meanwhile, in Honolulu, the president is scheduled to attend a ceremony marking the return of the remains of US soldiers who died in the Korean War and other veterans’ events there.
By Lee Ji-yoon (email@example.com