South Korea's Moon still hopes to host Kim this year

US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un meet in Singapore in June 2018

Mr Trump has frequently described a warm personal relationship with Mr Kim, arguing that this rapport would help him succeed at a diplomatic breakthrough that has eluded USA presidents since the 1950s.

The White House said in a statement on Saturday after Trump's meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping that they and Kim will strive "to see a nuclear free Korean Peninsula". The initial summit took place in June in Singapore but Trump has said the next meeting will probably take place at a new location.

Former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Monday to take concrete steps toward complete denuclearisation and gain the trust of the global community if he wants sanctions lifted.

Responding to Bridges' question about the future direction of inter-Korean relations, Moon said that during his recent summit with U.S. President Donald Trump, the two sides assessed the peace process was proceeding well.

Moon and his wife, Kim Jung-sook, arrived in the South Pacific nation late Sunday after attending the Group of 20 Nations summit in Argentina. But differences have emerged between Washington and Seoul on how to proceed with Kim, as the dovish Moon has long favoured engagement with the North.

North Korea had been angered by Washington's refusal to ease sanctions and has warned it could resume development of its nuclear program if the United States did not drop its campaign.

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In this undated photo released Monday, Dec. 3, 2018, by the North Korean government, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, center, visits the Wonsan Shoes Factory in Gangwon, North Korea.

Moon is now pushing for Kim to visit Seoul before the end of the year, in what would be the first official visit from a North Korean leader to the capital since the end of the Korean War.

North and South Korea have begun to remove landmines and destroy some military bunkers along their common border as part of the detente.

Speaking at a news conference following that announcement, President Moon said Kim would fly to Seoul within the year, unless "special circumstances" arose. But prospects of a fourth Moon-Kim meeting have recently dimmed, with negotiations on denuclearizing the North grinding to a halt.

Moon said a second summit between Kim and Trump will prove to be the "most critical moment" for North Korea's denuclearisation.

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