The Trump administration has led a global effort to impose stricter sanctions on North Korea. (AP: Jung Yeon-Je/Pool Photo)
South Korean President Moon Jae-in thinks US President Donald Trump deserves a Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to end the standoff with North Korea over its nuclear weapons program, according to a South Korean official.
- Trump says “great celebration” could be held at North-South border if talks work out
- Peace House is located in the heavily fortified Demilitarised Zone
- US President says Singapore still under consideration
“President Trump should win the Nobel Peace Prize. What we need is only peace,” Mr Moon told a meeting of senior secretaries, according to a presidential Blue House official who briefed media.
Mr Moon and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on Friday pledged at a summit to end hostilities between their countries and work toward the “complete denuclearisation” of the Korean peninsula.
Mr Trump is preparing for his own summit with Mr Kim, which he said would take place in the next three to four weeks.
The Trump administration has led a global effort to impose stricter sanctions on North Korea, with the US president also exchanging bellicose threats with Mr Kim in the past year over North Korea’s development of nuclear missiles capable of reaching the United States.
In January, Mr Moon said Mr Trump “deserves big credit for bringing about the inter-Korean talks. It could be a resulting work of the US-led sanctions and pressure”.
Mr Trump’s predecessor Barack Obama won the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize just months into his presidency, an award many thought was premature, given that he had little to show for his peace efforts beyond rhetoric.
Even Mr Obama said he was surprised and by the time he collected the prize in Oslo at the end of that year, he had ordered the tripling of US troops in Afghanistan.
Mr Moon’s Nobel Prize comment came in response to a congratulatory message from Lee Hee-ho, the widow of late South Korean president Kim Dae-jung, in which she said Mr Moon deserved to win the prize, the Blue House official said.
Mr Moon responded by saying Mr Trump should get it.
Trump suggests meeting Kim at Peace House
The Peace House is on the south side of the border town of Panmunjom. (AP: Lee Jin-man, File)
Meanwhile, Mr Trump has suggested his planned meeting with Mr Kim could take place at the Peace House on the border between North and South Korea, the same site as Mr Kim’s historic meeting last week with Mr Moon.
“Numerous countries are being considered for the MEETING, but would Peace House/Freedom House, on the Border of North & South Korea, be a more Representative, Important and Lasting site than a third party country? Just asking!” Mr Trump tweeted.
The US President later said the border could be the perfect backdrop if talks go well.
“There’s something that I like about it because you’re there, you’re actually there. Where, if things work out, there’s a great celebration to be had on the site not in a third-party country,” he told reporters at the White House, adding that Singapore was also under consideration.
“It has the chance to be a big event.”
Mr Trump is expected to meet with Mr Kim in weeks, and said in an interview on Thursday that he was considering five locations for his summit with the North Korean leader, although he has said multiple times the talks may not happen.
The Peace House is in the heavily fortified Demilitarised Zone, or DMZ, on the border between the two countries.
The choices of a venue for the Trump summit also include neutral third countries like Singapore, but US officials have been sceptical that Mr Kim would be willing to travel far.