Country Reports

The 73rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly

President Moon Jae-in’s New York itinerary was all about sharing the meeting results from the Pyongyang summit he had held with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un: Moon met with President Donald Trump on September 24 to deliver Kim’s off-script messages; then he spoke in front of American experts and academics covering Korean affairs at the Council on Foreign Relations on September 25; his interview with Fox News, the first time any South Korean president has been interviewed by the network, was aired on the same day; and his second address at the UN General Assembly was given on September 27, promoting ending the Korean War and, eventually, peace on the Korean Peninsula. Moon’s meeting with Trump was also about signing the revised Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the two states, the original of which Trump had long claimed to be “horrible” and “disastrous.” Moon spared time to meet with Prime Minister Abe Shinzo and hinted at disbanding the “comfort women” foundation, whose establishment was followed by an agreement between the two countries in 2015. Meanwhile, Kim’s much-anticipated debut at the UN General Assembly this year did not happen, but North Korean foreign minister Ri Yong-ho gave a speech on September 29, calling for Washington to do its part to build trust, stating that, otherwise, Pyongyang will not denuclearize. 

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