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Trump-Kim summit: Sleepless South Korea President Moon Jae In hopes for 'new era' of complete denuclearisation, peace

SEOUL (The Straits Times/ ANN) - South Korean President Moon Jae In said on Tuesday (June 12) he "hardly slept last night" in anticipation of the historic meeting between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore.

"The North Korea-United States summit has now just begun. I guess all the attention of our people is on Singapore," he said at a Cabinet meeting Tuesday morning, after watching the live broadcast of the first meeting of Mr Trump and Mr Kim at the Capella hotel on Sentosa.

"I join all the people in ardently aspiring for the success of the summit to bring complete denuclearisation and peace to us and usher in a new era among the two Koreas and the United States," Mr Moon said according to the presidential Blue House.

Mr Moon has worked hard, often playing the role of a mediator, to bring both the US and North Korea back to dialogue. He is also pushing for a peace declaration among parties to the Korean War to be signed, to pave the way to permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula.

Mr Moon has met Mr Kim, whose official title is Chairman of State Affairs Commission, North Korea's highest decision-making body, twice since April 27.

The Trump-Kim summit is highly watched in South Korea as its outcome will affect the future of the Korean Peninsula, which has been divided since an armistice halted the Korean War in 1953 after three years of hostilities.

The historic first handshake between Mr Trump and Mr Kim was screen live on all major TV stations, with daily newspapers providing timely updates online.

Yonhap news agency said the meeting was a "historic opportunity to peacefully end the North Korean nuclear threat", and that security in Singapore was "watertight", with about 5,000 police and security officers deployed on major roads leading to the Capella Hotel on Sentosa island.

The Korea Times noted that the Trump-Kim meeting was the "first-ever sit-down between the leaders of the Korean War adversaries and the culmination of a months-long flurry of diplomacy."

JoongAng Ilbo, a major Korean language daily, said "the summit of the century" may possibly "pave the way to a formal end to the 1950-53 Korean War".

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