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Trump to meet with Moon in South Korea in late June

Trump to meet with Moon in South Korea in late June

FILE PHOTO - South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in sits takes part in a meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, U.S., April 11, 2019. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump will meet with South Korean President Moon Jae-in in South Korea as part of his trip to the region in late June for the G20 summit in Japan, the White House said in a statement on Wednesday.

The two leaders “will continue their close coordination on efforts to achieve the final, fully verified denuclearization” of North Korea, the statement said. They will also discuss “ways to strengthen” the U.S.-South Korea alliance.

Tensions between the United States and North Korea have ratcheted up since a failed summit between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Vietnam in February.

North Korea has tested two short-range missiles and fired a series of projectiles in recent weeks. They were the first missile launches by Pyongyang since it tested an intercontinental ballistic missile in November 2017.

Moon said last week that the missile launches were probably a protest against the United States after the failed Hanoi summit.

Trump downplayed the missile tests. In an interview with Politico last week, he called the launches “very standard stuff” and said he did not consider them a “breach of trust.”

Washington has employed sanctions to pressure North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons. Last week, the United States announced it had seized a North Korean cargo ship it accused of illicit coal shipments in violation of U.S. and United Nations sanctions.

The Group of 20 summit will be held on June 28-29 in Osaka, Japan.

Reporting by Eric Beech; Editing by Mohammad Zargham and Leslie Adler

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