Moon Jae-in is the President of South Korea and from the moment he took over the office, he has been harping on normalizing relations with the North. He wanted to have peace in the region and eliminate fears of nuclear confrontation. His peace overtures earned rewards when Kim Jong-un held out an olive branch by reactivating the hotline.

Subsequently, teams from the North participated in the 2018 Winter Olympics which led to the first inter-Korean summit of 2018 in late April. It was followed by a second one in May that paved the way for a historic summit in Singapore between Donald Trump and the leader of North Korea.

CNBC reports that Moon Jae-in and Kim Jong-un will hold a third summit in Pyongyang next week where the issue of denuclearization of the peninsula will feature. In the Singapore summit, Kim had indicated a willingness to pursue denuclearization but the lack of progress is worrying the Trump camp. Hence, Moon Jae-in will have to try and obtain some assurance from Kim on the subject.

Tough road ahead for Moon Jae-in

The gradual build-up to the Singapore summit between Trump and Kim was a welcome relief for the world but the subsequent actions taken by Kim Jong-un has put a question mark on whether the end result will mean total denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.

Moon Jae-in had claimed that Kim wanted to remove his inventory of nuclear weapons and missiles. It seems he made such remarks in private during interaction with officials of the South. Obviously, Moon Jae-in will have to convince Kim to prove his sincerity.

The United States is worried about the apparent hesitancy on the part of Pyongyang to liquidate its nuclear arsenal.

Moon Jae-in has his task cut out, He will have to obtain some sort of positive response from Kim Jong-un which could be the foundation for a second Kim-Trump summit.

South Korea sends a 90-plus contingent to the summit

According to Sputnik News, a contingent of more than 90 is headed for the third intra-Korean summit to be held in Pyongyang on September 18-20.

Apart from South Korean officials, there are journalists and technical persons in the team. President Moon Jae-in is expected to take a direct flight to the North Korean capital. The broad agenda of the summit is expected to focus on issues relating to the implementation of the declaration signed at Panmunjom.

Incidentally, as a part of a joint declaration signed by Kim Jong-un and Moon Jae-in, the two Koreas had “agreed to adopt practical measures to connect railways on the peninsula.” The initial activities will involve creating the necessary infrastructure to “connect and modernize railways and roads on the eastern transportation corridor, as well as between Seoul and North Korea’s city of Sinuiju.” The South Korean president must impress upon his Northern counterpart to abandon his nuclear ambitions and embrace peace.