South Korean President Moon Jae In said Tuesday that this weekend's meeting between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was the "start of an era of peace," countering skepticism by many experts who described it as a made-for-TV moment that lacked substance.
During their impromptu third summit Sunday at the Korean Demilitarized Zone, Trump and Kim reinvigorated their countries’ bilateral ties and agreed to resume nuclear talks. Trump also briefly stepped onto North Korean soil, becoming the first sitting president to do so. However, there has been no indication that the two nations are any closer to resolving sticking points that collapsed their previous summit earlier this year.
Moon, who briefly chatted with Trump and Kim on a DMZ village before the U.S. and North Korean leaders sat for a two-way meeting, described their summit as "historic." He also called the summit "the fruits of amazing imagination," saying it was arranged due to Trump's "unprecedented" Twitter offer for a meeting and Kim's "bold" decision to accept it.
Moon has pushed for continued diplomacy between the United States and North Korea, urging the two nations to find a mutual solution on the North Korean nuclear crisis. Before last week's event, North Korea had warned Moon against facilitating talks between Pyongyang and Washington, saying that the North will "never go through" South Korea again when engaging with the United States.
“It’s better for the South Korean authorities to mind their own business at home,” Kwon Jong Gun, chief of the North Korean Foreign Ministry’s U.S. affairs department, said at the time.
North Korea's state media described Kim's meeting with Trump as "an amazing event" and that both leaders expressed great satisfaction over the result of their talks. Moon's government has also said it hopes the diplomatic momentum created by the latest Trump-Kim meeting would help revive inter-Korean dialogue.
U.S. and North Korean officials are expected to meet in coming weeks for further talks to set out the terms of a mutually acceptable deal regarding the nuclear crisis, , but many experts say it remains unclear whether the negotiations would successfully address the fundamental differences between the two nations.
The United States and North Korea have no official diplomatic ties and are still technically at war; the two countries observe an armistice that ended the 1950-53 Korean War, but have yet to establish a peace treaty. About 28,500 U.S. troops are stationed in South Korea as a defensive measure against potential North Korean aggression.
Fox News' Morgan Cheung and the Associated Press contributed to this report.