PARIS - North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is sincere and really means to abandon nuclear weapons, South Korean President Moon Jae-in told a French newspaper, adding that the international community needed to reward him for that.
Kim and US President Donald Trump pledged at a landmark summit in Singapore in June to work toward denuclearization. But the agreement was short on specifics and talks have made little headway since, with the North refusing to declare its nuclear weapons and facilities or agree to a concrete timeline.
"This year I have discussed in depth with Kim for hours. These meetings have convinced me that he has taken the strategic decision to abandon his nuclear weapon," Moon told Le Figaro in an interview before a state visit to Paris.
Moon is to meet President Emmanuel Macron on Monday.
While Pyongyang has stopped nuclear and missile tests this year, it failed to keep its promise to allow international inspections of its dismantling of the Punggye-ri site in May, stirring criticism that the move could be reversed.
But Moon said Kim was "sincere, calm and polite" and "felt frustrated by the international community's continuing mistrust".